Schools around the country reopen for a new academic year this month, and surely, many students will ponder the useful of their education.
While discussion of student loan costs and the job-market value of college degrees turn more contentious seemingly every year, a Georgetown University report published this summer says that unequivocally, more education means more opportunities in the labor force.
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce found candidates with more than a high school education powered the economic recovery from the recession. They accounted for a remarkable 95% of the jobs added since the recession hit its nadir in 2009.
Job seekers who completed at least a bachelor's degree were especially prolific, accounting for 8.6 million new hires in that time. Those with an associate's degree or some college education gained 1.3 million jobs. Seekers with a high school education or less are still lagging well behind 2008 employment numbers, down a staggering 5.5 million jobs.
Recent high school graduates with no secondary education make up one of the highest unemployment rates of any demographic, hovering around 18%, almost triple that of the general population.
Understanding the educational and training requirements of a particular career early in the process is of the utmost importance. Listings for openings in the CareerCast.com database offer a resource for seekers to study the skills and education level needed to get started in a particular field.
However, also having accessible to programs for training and education is a first step that not everyone has.
The aforementioned student loan issue can be quantified in one eye-popping figure: 1.3 trillion. That's the total dollar amount Americans owe in student loans in 2016.
For those who wish to avoid student loan debt, or have other barriers preventing them from a formal, college education, there are alternatives. The New York Times reported in May of a $75 million investment JPMorgan Chase has made in job-training programs for high schools and community colleges.
It does indeed pay to have an education in the job market -- now perhaps more so than ever. Knowing how to get started toward the right education is the initial step down the right career path.