Can Education Help You During a Recession?
At the start of the recession, more and more people returned to school to weather the economic storm, but was that the right way to go? Can education help protect people from high unemployment? While there are no guarantees, there is a lot of evidence to show that more education correlates to lower unemployment rates.
US News and World Report notes that education was able to shelter many of the most educated people from the current recession. The numbers speak for themselves. In February 2011, the national unemployment rate was 8.9%. But workers who had at least a four-year bachelor’s degree experienced their unemployment rates at a much lower 4.3%.
Michael Greenstone, a director at the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan think tank, agrees. He finds education to be a solid way for people to invest in themselves. “There is no question that, on average, people who have more education earn more and are unemployed less frequently,” says Greenstone.
And this pattern holds true for graduate and professional degrees, too. Looking back to 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that individuals with a bachelor’s degree averaged 5.4% unemployment, while those with a master’s degree experienced, on average, only 4%. And the jobless rates for those with professional and doctoral degrees were even lower still.
It’s important to remember that a degree isn’t something to take lightly. It takes a lot of work, money and dedication to graduate from college or get a master’s degree. However, if you are highly focused in your career aspirations, then the effort and investment can be worth it.