Education Affects Unemployment and Income

Jonathan Bollag, Owner and FounderLeave a Comment

One can say that knowledge is power. The importance of a good education can be observed not only in the increased occupational opportunities one gains, but also in the personal growth one obtains through studying text, attending lectures and experiential learning such as internships and hands-on studies.  The positive correlation between a higher education and higher income and occupational status cannot be denied.

As referenced in the Table below, according to The United States Department of Labor, it is clear that the more education you obtain throughout your life, the less likely you are to be unemployed. In 2012, a staggering 12.4% of workers without a High School Diploma were out of work. When you compare the income of an individual with an Associates Degree with that of an individual with a Master’s degree, their weekly earnings nearly double. So what does this tell us? Certainly that there is a positive correlation between education levels and income, though is this the whole picture? It makes one wonder about what other types of factors could be involved here. Are more driven individuals more apt to obtain a higher degree, and by doing so enhance on-the-job performance? Can this be one of the factors of higher income? What about one’s motivation to earn higher salaries? Do those that set their eyes on higher learning generally do so for higher paying occupations or for the experience of learning itself?  Perhaps individuals seek higher learning for a combination of both motivating factors. There are numerous issues that fall into play here, though one that really cannot be disputed is the importance of a good education- especially when you lack personal connections in the occupational field. 

One of the fastest growing trends today is the online education system. It is not always affordable (though it can be), though it is practical, and has been developed to adhere to the working individual who does not have the time to attend a traditional brick and mortar University.  Online Universities allow students such as stay at home mothers and fathers as well as full-time employees create their own study and classroom schedule to suit their needs. By no means does this mean that Online Accredited Colleges have an easy course load, they can be quite challenging.  Most Ivy League schools and other top-notch Universities are offering online classes if not online degrees. Harvard is now offering online classes as is Boston University offering degree programs. The University of Southern California (USC) Rossier School of Education, which has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report Magazine as #17 among graduate schools of education, has an Online Masters Degree program in Education, which carries the same weight as a degree from the traditional USC University, and also has the same requirements for admission. PHD and other Doctoral Degrees are offered online which are usually done mostly off-site with some bi- annual residency requirements as well as an in-person oral defense of your dissertation.

So what are some of the best paying jobs? Below is a list of the top 25 paying jobs according to The Department of Labor. The annual median incomes are listed. Not surprisingly, medical fields dominate the top 25 occupations in terms of income. Needless to say, medicinal occupations normally require the most challenging and time consuming educational pursuits, and of course cannot be completed over the Internet.





Obstetricians and Gynecologists


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons


Internists, General


Physicians and Surgeons




Physicians and Surgeons, All Other


Family and General Practitioners




Chief Executives




Pediatricians, General




Dentists, All Other Specialists


Dentists, General


Nurse Anesthetists


Petroleum Engineers


Architectural and Engineering Managers






Natural Sciences Managers


Marketing Managers


Lawyers and Judicial Law Clerks


Computer and Information Systems   Managers


With this said, the importance of education cannot be denied no matter what your occupational pursuits are. Whatever your socioeconomic status may be, attempt to gain an education. Be this through your local City College, traditional brick and mortar University or via an online University, as any education will help you land that better paying and more inspiring occupation. For those of you who are lucky enough to acquire a scholarship, go for it, as this will most likely be the most dramatic decision you will make for your occupational future.  It is never to late to go back and complete a college degree. With the vast availability of adult education there is no reason not to pursue a diploma at any age.


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