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You may make more money by earning a college degree.

The data shows that a college degree may correlate to your salary range—and the relationship between compensation and education level could be becoming more prominent.

At the turn of the 20th century, American working life was different. The number of students who graduated high school shot up from 7 to 49% and it became a kind of rite of passage for young adults.[i] By 1975, full-time workers with a Bachelor's degree had 1.5 times the annual earnings of workers with a high school diploma. By 1999, this ratio had edged up to 1.8.[ii]

Now-a-days, education has become a great way to jumpstart your career and earning your college degree could be the best way for you to invest in your future. With so many online degree programs to choose from and possible scholarship opportunities that could ease financial strain, college may be more doable than you originally thought. Since you have the flexibility of setting your own schedule and working as you earn your degree, an online college degree program may be a great fit for nontraditional students such as single dads or moms who want to go back to school and complete their college education.

A formal, focused education should still be relevant, despite current economic woes. Employers often use diplomas and degrees as a way to screen job applicants and, if you do not have a college degree, you may not make the cut. Furthermore, once you are employed in your desired career, your salary may better reflect your credentials. On average, a person with a Master's degree earns $2.76 million over a lifetime compared with only $1.38 million over the lifetime of a high school graduate, That is a difference of $34,216 per year.[iii]

A person with a Bachelor's degree could earn, on average, almost twice as much as workers with a high school diploma over a lifetime – $2.3 million compared to $1.38 million, that is a difference of $22,516 per year[iii]. This may be a result, not only higher starting salaries for people with higher education levels, but also sharper earnings growth over the course their careers.

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