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The Value of a College Education

200408308-001Over the past decade, there has been a lot of debate on the value of a postsecondary education. When unemployment rates were particularly high, many questioned why take the time and financial debts to pursue a college degree, particularly if there weren’t the jobs available after the fact.

Earlier this month, The New York Times took a look at that argument, and public perceptions on the unemployment rate of recent college graduates. The results may surprise you.

Currently, the U.S. unemployment rate for those ages 22 through 34 and without a college degree is 7.4 percent. For college graduates in the same age range, the unemployment rate is only 2.4 percent.

When surveyed, Google readers assumed the post-college unemployment rate would be more than five times reality. New York Times readers themselves guessed the number to be nearly three times the true number.

Yes, unemployment rates vary from state to state, community to community. But looking beyond the perceptions, the fact is a strong one. There is enormous value to young people seeking and obtaining a postsecondary degree. By following their passions and interests, they can also dramatically improve their ability to succeed in the 21st century economy.

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