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The Value of a University Education - Assignment Example

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This paer will tell that in these days of global economic recession, there is often an extended debate about the value of a university education. The increasing costs of higher education generate doubts as to its necessity and its effective value, both to the individual and to society at large. …
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The Value of a University Education
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Download file to see previous pages Studies consistently demonstrate that graduates have higher levels of earnings than high school graduates. According to the US Census Bureau, the median earnings of bachelor’s degree recipients working full-time year-round in 2008 were $55,700 - $21,900 more than the median earnings of high school graduates. Individuals with higher levels of education are more likely to have earnings and more likely to work full-time year round. Eighty percent of college graduates ages 25 or older had earnings in 2008 and 60% worked full-time year-round. In comparison, only sixty-three percent of high school graduates ages 25 or older had earnings, and only 44% worked full-time year-round. When lifetime earnings are computed, the typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn about 66% more during a 40-year working life than the typical high school graduate earns over the same period. After the fall in employment rates at the start of the economic recession in early 2008, it was four-year college graduates whose employment levels first recovered in 2010, with a 2% increase. Individuals with higher levels of education report greater job satisfaction and derive a sense of fulfillment from their work. Finally, the unemployment rate for university graduates “is consistently about half the unemployment rate for high school graduates” (Baum, Ma and Payea, 2010). Higher education also confers non-monetary benefits to individuals. These include health benefits and an improved sense of self-esteem. As the medical consensus on the adverse health effects of smoking became more emphatic, the smoking rates for college graduates showed a much more rapid rate of decline than that for high school graduates. By 2008, only 9% of college graduates smoked,...
This paper comes to the conclusion that it is clear that university education imparts value to the individual, the local community and society at large. Individual benefits are both monetary and non-monetary. Monetary benefits include increased income and consistently high employment rates. Non-monetary advantages range from to better health and healthy lifestyles to a greater sense of well-being and better care of children. In the context of the local community, universities develop the skills of the local community by enlisting and training local students, generate employment opportunities on the campus, participate in community activities, give local community access to university facilities, address the issue of social disadvantage in the locality and raise the prestige and visibility of the region. Society at large benefits in several ways from higher education, with graduates showing greater political participation, decreased crime and incarceration rates, more racial and religious tolerance and less dependence on public welfare programs.
This paper approves that the higher wages of college graduates obviously translates into a higher national income, which leads to a healthier population and a better functioning society. The benefits of a university education are indisputable. As it is evident that the benefits of higher education are not confined to the individual alone, but also spill over into the local community and society at large, public investment in higher education is a step in the right direction. University education is the best way to ensure that the well-being of all citizens is enhanced and that the nation retains its competitiveness in the knowledge economy of the contemporary world. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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