Degrees Still Hold Value, New Study Reports
Posted: 8/16/12

Degrees Still Hold Value,
New Study Reports

As university students across the nation return to classes next week, they do so in a national climate rocked by economic uncertainties that have questioned the value of a college degree.

New research published this week by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University reveals that although economic hardships can be experienced by people of all levels of education – a college degree’s value remains strong.

According to the report, “The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm,”  “the unemployment rate for recent four-year college graduates is 6.8 percent, higher than the rate for all four-year graduates of 4.5 percent. But the 6.8 percent is much, much better than the 24 percent rate for recent high school graduates,” the report says.

Dr. Minita Ramírez, Texas A&M International University vice president of Student Success, said the report underscores a core message TAMIU shares with all students.

“This report endorses exactly what we tell our students:  get your degree and get it as soon as you can.  In these days of tight resources, students need to know that their investment in higher education affords worthy, valid experiences that gives their four-year degree deeper meaning and value in their chosen career. In short, they need to get their money’s worth and it’s our duty to make that possible,”  Dr. Ramírez said.

Other report segments in the Center for Education and the Workforce research looked at job creation.  The authors noted that more than half of new jobs attributed to what economists identify as recovery from the recession go to college graduates, who make up only one-third of the labor force.

The report maintains that four-year college graduates continue to fare better even in blue collar industries.

"Even in traditionally blue-collar industries, better educated workers fared better," the report notes, "In manufacturing, employment dropped by 19 percent for workers with a high school diploma or less, but only 9 percent for workers with Bachelor’s degrees or better. In construction, employment dropped by 4 percent for workers with Bachelor’s degrees or better and 24 percent for those with high school diplomas or less."

The report also notes that since the recession, enrollment by males is increasing.  The authors characterize this  as a “wake-up call.”  Based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, they note that since the recession, the rate of increase in male enrollments is higher than female enrollment.

“Men now realize that they need more than a high school diploma to get a job and that they shouldn’t limit themselves to fields dominated by men. They have been flocking to college at greater rates and moving into fields usually dominated by women — such as nursing, " the report says.

TAMIU’s Ramírez said in the final analysis, the investment of higher education pays off.

“It’s about making the most of their investment in higher education. You get what you pay for, ” she concluded.

The Fall Semester at TAMIU begins Thursday, Aug. 23.  Late Registration continues through Aug. 29.

For additional information, visit tamiu.edu/prospect, call the Office of the University Registrar at 326. Or email enroll@tamiu.edu  Information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the University’s free app for smartphones and tablets is available for download at tamiu.edu

To read more about the report, “The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm,” visit  cew.georgetown.edu/collegeadvantage

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu