March 4, 2010
Growing A Talent Dividend – Boosting college attainment rates could put billions into the economy (Forbes)
Although it appears the worst of the financial crisis may be over, jobs and employment continue to be obstacles to recovery. Public officials at all levels of government are struggling to reach a consensus on the way forward, considering solutions from corporate tax credits for new hires to the creation of incubators to encourage new business starts.
But while these proposals may provide immediate (and necessary) return, a more patient and lasting response is required to build a model for consistent growth. The most reliable public investment we can make to sustain economic prosperity is education. We need a commitment from leadership–both public and private–to make the development of an educated workforce a priority of economic policy.
Increasing college attainment reliably leads to greater personal income. While Americans with four-year degrees earn an average of $58,292 annually, those with some college or a two-year degree average annual earnings of $38,220. For those with only a high school degree, average annual earnings drop to $33,176, and Americans with less education than that earn only $23,348.