The Return on Investment in Higher Education

In yesterday’s article we evaluated the benefits of higher education in an individual’s life. Today we will look into the ROI (Return on Investment) from the post-secondary education. Are university really giving back what they take from students when they are at school?

Investing in Higher education pays off over time. There have been numerous studies done that shows how long it takes for a graduate to earn more than they paid for their education. The most recent report in Australia shows on average, graduates from universities across the country are able to have a 15% return on their investment. This investment has been calculated against all the costs at school, including tuition, food, rent and other expenses while an individual is studying.

Higher education also means higher starting salaries for job seekers and opening the door to new opportunities. 

The starting salary for an entry level job depends on many paradigms, including the university’s reputation, the field and area of expertise and the city the job is located in. Notwithstanding that, research shows in almost all areas university graduates start with considerably higher wages right at the start. This can be a few thousand dollars to over $10K. Many companies also consider promotions based on educational background and the familiarity of the individual with the subject matter. Where experience is a common denominator between applicants, education can become the sole differential factor.     

Finally, education has a huge impact on the economy. Education leads to higher labour force participation, high employment and productivity, in addition to the creation of many related jobs in the process. Statistics show a clear correlation between unemployment rates and lack of education in the western countries. An economy without an educated labour force cannot prosper and be competitive in the international stage.

It is quite evident that higher education in all levels and fields usually lead to higher paid jobs and easier employment prospects. What remains a big question mark for many, however, is the affordability of the education; a subject that we will examine more in-depth this week. 

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