We have said things a little differently than Mr. Harvey did but the concept and the values are the same. In our calculator, the values we have entered for average earnings for non-degreed workers, men and women, and those of both sexes with various degrees, are based on published information from numerous schools, colleges and universities and are confirmed by the US Census Bureau; the dollars are based on year 2000 information. This non-degreed group includes men and women that have a high school education, GED, or equivalent in work related education.
Future financial values or interest are not considered and these calculations do not reflect any attempt at inflation or any other consideration for any positive or negative impact at a difference in degrees or non-degrees, though there are many that may or may not be measurable financially. You may change the values if you feel you have more updated or different information; finally enter the number of years anticipated for YOUR career. Click on Calculate and the "bottom line" will be returned. Do your best to carefully study the information to determine if the investment in time and money for a degree (ANY degree) is worth it. It is a tough task and might take a CPA, trained in financial comparisons, to figure it out. (Yeah... right!)
An Associate's Degree is the equivalent of a 2 year degree from a Community or Junior College, or is a two year or longer Trades' Degree. For our purposes here, the term Bachelor's Degree is representative of virtually all 4 year academic recognized degrees in our data. A Master's Degree is exemplary of a 6 year degree and a PhD is a Doctorate Degree, an academic degree, that of 8 years or longer. While we are only considering the degrees themselves, some occupations just earn more money than others, no matter the degree. The figures are averages across the occupational cross section within the degree classification. Are there exceptions? Certainly... However, the term average indicates that there are many higher and many lower on both sides of the cap and gown. Time has proven (that most of the time) there are many benefits to ANY sort of degree; finances are only one. Perhaps money is not the ultimate decision for a degree. Money does not provide happiness always but having enough versus not enough can certainly make life and what it holds much more enjoyable. For the rest of the story, we hope that you will investigate and encourage your children that education is the key to tomorrow. As long as you are learning, your mind is never stagnant. As Mr. Harvey would say... Good Day!