How Much More Money Do College Grads Make?

College graduates can improve their financial income.
College graduates can improve their financial income.

How much more money do college grads make versus high school graduates or those without a college degree is entirely subjective. However, a college education is an advantage in modern society and it can definitely have an impact on your income.

How Much More Money Do College Grads Make

The Occupational Outlook Quarterly from The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that college graduates can and do make more than other workers. The level of earnings remains difficult to predict. A study in 1998 indicated that the top 10 percent of college graduates were making three times as much as the bottom 10 percent.

College graduates can and do make more money because they are qualified to take on the higher paying positions in corporations. Graduates with a PhD, PsyD or master's will make more than a graduate with just a bachelor's degree. A degree is a qualifier, but it is not the only thing that determines income.

Organization, Reliability, Responsibility

The time spent to earn a college degree teaches discipline and responsibility that will serve college graduates well in the job market. A degree demonstrates to an employer the graduate's longevity in terms of commitment. Another study published by the Occupational Outlook Quarterly shows that between 1998 and 2008, the job market will include more openings for college graduates as baby boomers begin to retire. Growth industries, particularly those in the science and technology sectors, require more in the way of college education.

Supply and Demand

The demand for a more highly educated and skilled workforce has led to an increase in college enrollments through the availability of online colleges. Education is an evolving growth industry that is moving gradually from brick-and-mortar institutions to flexible, online classrooms. Where previously college graduates were limited to a small window of opportunity, online colleges encourage older members of the workforce to go back to school in order to develop new skills or to go to college for the first time.

Corporations are partnering with educational facilities in order to encourage their employees to seek a higher education and to hire directly from the growing pool of available college graduates.

Increased Specialization

As the job market becomes increasingly dependent on specialization, college degrees are more important than ever. A freelance writer with a degree in communications can make more than the freelance writer with an associate's degree due to the types of opportunities made available.

A teacher with a master's degree in curriculum and instruction focusing on literacy will make $65,000 and up per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A teacher with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education will earn only $54,000 per year.

In North Texas, school districts pay substitute teachers a daily wage. Substitute teachers who do not have a college degree can earn $70 per day whereas a substitute teacher with a college degree can earn $100 per day. The difference may be only a few dollars an hour, but those dollars add up.


College tuition may dissuade some from enrolling, but the financial incentives of how much more money do college grads make can offset the cost of tuition in the long run.

How Much More Money Do College Grads Make?