Value of College

College Graduate Earnings
BY THE NUMBERS

College Graduate Earnings
BY THE NUMBERS

The Value of Associate Degrees and Certificates

Associate degrees provide a significant boost to earnings on average. Women earn $7,160 more per year (or 26 percent more), and men earn $4,640 more per year (or 18 percent more).

Certificates boost earnings on average by $2,960 per year for women and $2,120 for men.

Earnings gains vary by state, sometimes substantially, as shown in the figures below. CAPSEE studied six states in depth and reviewed the research on eight states for its capstone report.

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Earnings Gains From Completing an Associate Degree: Women

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Annual earnings gains for associate degree holders compared with people who enrolled in college but did not earn a degree, 5–9 years after entering college (2014 dollars)

*State results not disaggregated by gender

Earnings Gains From Completing a Certificate: Women

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Annual earnings gains for certificate holders compared with people who enrolled in college but did not earn a certificate, 5–9 years after entering college (2014 dollars)

*State results not disaggregated by gender

Further Reading

The Labor Market Returns to Sub-Baccalaureate College: A Review
Clive Belfield & Thomas Bailey (March 2017)

Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, Teachers College, Columbia University
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The Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment was established in the summer of 2011 through a grant (R305C110011) from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.
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