Students having a good time

What Is the Increased Earning Potential of Going Back to School?

Going back to school is an investment in yourself that pays off. The average earning potential and career opportunities greatly increase with a degree.

Today, more adults than ever are realizing the benefits of going back to school. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that the percentage of students in higher education who are over 25 will rise by 8 percent by 2026. In many cases, these students will be motivated by the increasing wage gap between those with college degrees and those with a high school diploma.

Benefits by the Numbers

According to The Hamilton Project, the average bachelor's degree holder earns approximately $1.19 million over the course of their career, more than double the $580,000 in lifetime earnings for those with a high school degree. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that unemployment rates for college degree holders are similarly about half, 2.7 percent, of what they are for those without a degree. BLS also estimates that median weekly earnings increase progressively with your level of education. The following summarizes 2017 median weekly earnings:

  • High school diploma: $712
  • Some college, no degree: $774
  • Bachelor's degree holders: $1,173
  • Master's degree holders: $1,401

Other Reasons to Go Back to School

Of course, it's not all about money. Many people without a degree may run into a wall in their chosen field where a degree is a required qualification for advancement. Obtaining a formal education can help these people advance to more challenging and fulfilling work. In fact, a survey from Pew Research Center found that 9 in 10 adult graduates said their education has paid off for them or they expect it to in the future.

Graduates Celebrating

It's Easier Than Ever Before

Thanks to online learning, going back to school is easier than ever before for working adults and those with families. Tulane SoPA offers programs that can be done entirely online or with a combination of online and in-class learning that still gives students the networking and learning benefits of the classroom. In both cases, students can tailor their education to their schedule and take classes when and how they want.

Tulane University has a long history of providing education to working adults. The Tulane School of Professional Advancement carries on that proud tradition with a range of degrees and programs designed to help you advance in your field, or change your career path altogether to something more rewarding. Going back to school is one of the best investments you can make in yourself, both for the increase in earnings and the satisfaction that comes from achieving your full potential. Begin your application today with SoPA.

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