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The diminishing value of a bachelor's degree

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Accumulating heavy student debt is the norm in the U.S.—the average debt load is at a staggering $29,000. With tuition, room and board, books and other campus expenses—the full sticker price of attending a public university totals $22,800, and attending a private university can set a student back by $44,750. Surely, the return on investment must be great, right? Well, it depends. The investment has contributed toward 16 percent of the country’s bartenders, 14 percent of parking lot attendants, 23 percent of flight attendants and 12 percent of cab drivers.

Career success really depends on a graduating student’s major. There’s a better chance a computer programming major receives a job offer following graduation when compared to a visual and performing arts major. You may be familiar with this common bullet point found in job postings: Bachelor’s required, Master’s preferred. Between 2002 and 2013, the annual production of Master’s degrees jumped a whopping 63 percent—but a Master’s degree is often priced starting at $20,000 to $30,000.

Is it actually possible that an Associate’s degree is worth more than a Bachelor’s degree? To find out more details, check out the full infographic here!

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