Will a PhD make you better off? Not until 33 years later

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by tadj, Nov 23, 2023.

  1. tadj

    tadj Active Member

    Since you have indicated that you consider all such "lumped degree" ROI information "utterly useless", would you also take issue with the frequently cited "college degree advantage" calculation?

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2023/mar/08/stanley-litow/strong-support-for-notion-that-a-bachelors-degree/ It is also based on this single answer approach;

    “Lifetime earnings of someone with a college degree is over a million dollars more than those entering the workforce without one.”

    "Multiple analyses show that people with bachelor’s degrees stand to earn more than $1 million in added income over a lifetime compared with people who lack them, though one study showed differentials that, while substantial, did not quite reach $1 million."

    "The income differential can vary based on undergraduate major, gender, race, ethnicity and industry of employment"

    Once you take all the differentials into account, why is it wrong to give people access to the big picture?

    Also, it doesn't appear that the researchers of the UK doctorate holder study have given a single answer without any nuance. They also provide differentials in the form of STEM vs. other doctorates, etc.
  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Isn't there a Social Science "dicho" that "correlation is not causation"?
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yes, when the statement includes the million dollar figure rather than simply suggesting that for the vast majority of students, earning a Bachelor's degree has positive ROI. Moreover, it's a forward looking statement because there's no guarantee that just because students from previous decades enjoyed a significant boost to their lifetime earning potential that today's young people would necessarily see similar results (although my guess is that they largely will).

    There's good reason for the saying that things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. I think this is one of those cases, in that what you are referring to as a "big picture" is better described as a gross overgeneralization.
    tadj likes this.
  4. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    It's so hard to measure these things. Anecdotally I suspect getting my master's had something to do with a significant pay increase but I can’t prove it. If nothing else, though, my employer knew I could go make more money elsewhere.
    Suss, Rich Douglas and tadj like this.

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