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Unemployment odds diminish rapidly with higher education

Unemployment rate by Education Level
Unemployment rate by Education Level

Parents, listen up: There are many good reasons to convince your children to pursue higher education and an article published on Aug. 4, 2104 by Morningside illustrates one undeniable reason why education is so valuable.

Morningside compiled unemployment figures for the 2000 to 2014 period and then charted the rates on a graph, with separate lines based on educational attainment. The results show that the likelihood of unemployment changes drastically based on education and it offers positive proof of the value of an education.

The differences in unemployment among those with a college education and those without were greatest during the peak of the Great Recession. Back in 2010, the unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma was around 16 percent. In contrast, the unemployment rate among those with a bachelor’s degree or better was approximately 5 percent. That means the chances of being jobless was more than three times greater for those without a high school diploma compared to those with a four- year college degree.

Even today, with unemployment rates falling, the difference between the two extremes is still significant. Those without a high school diploma are still facing unemployment around 9 percent. Add a bachelor’s degree or more to the resume and the unemployment rate falls to just 3.5 percent. The differences are a little less drastic than those of a few years ago, but still great enough that every parent and child should take notice.

Unemployment avoidance is just one reason to pursue a college education. There are many others, among them better pay, greater job satisfaction, and more rounded knowledge and life skills. Even if you ignore the satisfaction, life skills, etc., and only look at the items that are quantifiable- the unemployment rate as shown on the graph and the rate of pay based on educational attainment- the value of a college degree becomes glaringly obvious.

What this Morningside article shows isn’t too surprising. I think most people already knew that unemployment is lower among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher. But many may not realize just how large the gap is between those with a degree and those without a high school diploma. This study illustrates the difference well and it provides inarguable proof that an education is extremely valuable in today’s society.

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