Diminishing Returns from Advanced Degrees

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

When college and university representatives urge you to get an advanced degree, you may want to get a second opinion. Economist Richard Vedder will be happy to give you one.

“There has been mounting evidence that the financial payoff from the traditional bachelor’s degree is declining, particularly for men,” Vedder writes in a column distributed by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. “For example, Census Bureau data suggest that, from 2005 to 2016, the average earnings differential for male workers holding bachelor’s degrees compared with those holding high school diplomas fell from $39,440 to $37,653 (in 2016 dollars)—at a time when college costs were rising.”

“Other evidence from the New York Federal Reserve Bank confirms that a large portion of college graduates are underemployed, working jobs traditionally held by high school graduates.”