Thursday, September 11, 2008

No Country For the Over-Educated

Earnings across nearly all educational levels down since 2000. Only professional degrees pay off.

The numbers show that only those who invested in professional degrees - MDs, JDs, MBAs - received a rising ROI. In 2007, their inflation-adjusted median salary was $89,602, up 3% from 2000, according to the Census Bureau. On the other hand, reports Conor Dougherty in today's THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, "workers in every other educational group -- including Ph.D.s as well as high school dropouts -- earned less in 2007 than they did in 2000, adjusted for inflation."

Clearly, America is no country for the overeducated. And even a mere undergraduate degree may be considered over-education without a career-earnings payoff. Wages for college graduates have been falling.

However, things haven't been all that rosy for those whose education has been paying off. Doctors are being forced into specialties and not areas like family practice because of compensation differences and out of specialties such as Ob/Gyn because of malpractice insurance. JDs are facing a newly volatile profession which is increasingly focused on the bottom line. MBAs expecting those big jobs in investment banking and other areas of finance have to re-think their career paths.

No wonder I'm underemployed!

See my previous posts:

1 comment:

thinking said...

Part of the problem is that the economic policies of the Republicans have led to declining wages for just about everyone, with the possible exception of the super wealthy.

Republican economics has become trickle down economics that largely leaves out the middle class.

It's sad that during the same time that productivity rose, real wages for almost everyone went down. That's is virtually unprecedented.

I'll take Bill Clinton any day.