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An economic study performed by the New York Federal Reserve Bank from the 1970s until now shows that even with the current economy, people benefit significantly from a college education and can make up to $1 million more in their lifetime.
According to The Guardian, college students who do not work full-time during their college years may lose out on up to $96,000 in potential earnings. However, that loss can be made up within a few years following graduation, due to the higher pay benefits that come along with having a degree. Over the course of their lifetime, the Fed study demonstrated that college graduates will make around $1 million more than their non-degree counterparts. Those who receive an associate degree may not make quite as much, but they still will likely make around $325,000 more.
Degrees that involve mathematics and science, such as computer science and engineering, make the most money off of their degrees, gaining between an 18 percent and 21 percent return. Other degrees, such as liberal arts, may not make as good of a return but still yield a return of over nine percent, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.
While people with degrees fare better in the end, it is still hard for college graduates to get on their feet. Over 18 percent of college graduates find themselves underemployed and several graduates wind up in jobs that do not pertain to their degrees. Nonetheless, despite the fact that some people may not find jobs in their degree field, they still have an advantage because employers are likely to honor their degrees and offer higher wages.