The Job Market For Bachelor's Degree Holders [Infographic]

job market bachelors degreeThe escalating cost of a college education has many young people wondering whether a bachelor's degree is worth the expense.

Given the current lackluster state of the job market, some are deciding that it's not worth going into debt for tens of thousands of dollars only to find themselves on the unemployment line.

Statistics show, however, that college graduates are likely to earn much more than their counterparts who hold only a high-school diploma.

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with bachelor's degrees had median annual earnings of $57,026, based on monthly surveys from 2006 through 2008, the most recent available. That's 40 percent more than the median $34,197 annual income brought home by those with just a high-school education.

Workers with four-year college degrees are also much more likely to be employed. Having a bachelor's degree not only improves your chances of landing a job, it decreases the likelihood of losing your job.

Data from From 2005 through 2009 show the unemployment rate for those with a four-year college degree was roughly half that of those with just a high-school diploma.

In 2009, for example, the average jobless rate for high-school graduates stood at 9.7 percent, but those with bachelor's degree had a much lower unemployment rate -- 4.6 percent.

Further, despite the trend toward more college graduates, studies show that by 2025 there will be roughly three times the number of jobs for holders of bachelor's degrees, compared to those that require only an associate degree or less.

Another benefit that four-year college graduates enjoy is the ability to specialize in nearly any field they desire, since a bachelor's degree greatly increases the number of career opportunities, according to Rasmussen College, a private career college.

Still, many are impeded by cost, time, family matters and other factors from completing a college education, Rasmussen notes. But the completion of a bachelor's degree can make managing those challenges easier.

Next: Is A Bachelor's Degree Really Worth The Cost? [Infographic]

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from FINS

David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Follow David on Twitter.
Email David at Add David to your Google+ circles.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Busted my butt to get through college... I WOULD be a teacher, but OSU screws their students and basically turns them into glorified daycare workers with $30,000 of debt. I could go into their masters program and get my teaching certificate... if I had the extra thousands per quarter plus books and more time away from work. Then there is the fact that schools don't want to hire someone with an advanced degree because they are too expensive. Finishing school was by far the worst decision that I have ever made!

December 19 2011 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No college: 55k

November 18 2011 at 1:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds like a pretty rock solid plan to me dude.

November 17 2011 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 20 - July 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.