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ERIC Number: ED524299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Rose, Stephen J.; Cheah, Ban
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
A college degree pays off--but by just how much? In this report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the authors examine just what a college degree is worth--and what else besides a degree might influence an individual's potential earnings. This report examines lifetime earnings for all education levels and earnings by occupation, age, race/ethnicity, and gender. The data are clear: a college degree is key to economic opportunity, conferring substantially higher earnings on those with credentials than those without. A 2002 Census Bureau study estimated that in 1999, the average lifetime earnings of a Bachelor's degree holder was $2.7 million (2009 dollars), 75 percent more than that earned by high school graduates in 1999. Today, the authors find similar numbers--but since 1999, the premium on college education has grown to 84 percent. In other words, over a lifetime, a Bachelor's degree is worth $2.8 million on average. The authors present their findings in dollar totals over a career, which is defined as being a full-time, full-year worker from 25 to 64 years old. Lifetime Earnings by Educational Attainment and Occupation are appended. (Contains 11 tables, 6 figures and 5 footnotes.) [For "The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings. Executive Summary," see ED524300.]
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 3300 Whitehaven Street NW Suite 5000 Box 571444, Washington, DC 20057. Tel: 202-687-4922; Fax: 202-687-3110; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A