Wages Continue to Decrease for U.S. College Graduates After the Recession

According to an unpublished study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, wages for college graduates aged 22-26 have fallen since the 2007-09 recession. Thus, the value of a bachelor’s degree has fallen since the recession for many different majors. This includes Architecture and Engineering, Biology, Business, and Social Science majors. The only majors that have not seen a decrease in wages include petroleum engineering as well as philosophy and public policy majors. This wage-stagnation trend could be due to advances in technology and automation, as said by Robert Valletta, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. However, there is more hope for experienced graduates aged 35-54, as the wage gap between graduate degree-holders and undergrads has been increasing.

What is important to remember is picking a major is not the only defining factor of a student’s future salary. Taking part in internships, volunteering experiences, and hands-on training helps shape one’s career. Jeff Selingo, who writes about higher education and is a professor of practice at Arizona State University, said “Just getting a degree doesn’t matter anymore. What matters more are the undergraduate experiences that you have.”

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