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College GraduateRemember the “good old days” when landing corporate job meant a fat income, a robust benefits package, and lifelong employment stability? Well, as you know, those days are over. What has replaced job security and longevity is a consistent uncertainty, no matter the career level. That’s right, everyone from the mail boy to the Director of Finance is looking over their shoulders for the Hatchet Man. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put yourself in the best position possible.

Unemployment is hovering at around 8% and because we are in the midst of what I feel is a technological paradigm shift that will literally change the way businesses operate, it may not ever go down. However, according to CollegeStats.org, a bachelor’s degrees in 2008 earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma. Additionally, the unemployment rate for those with the four-year degree is only at 3.7%.

Now unfortunately, 3 out of 5 employees today do not possess a bachelor’s degree, and with the rising cost of education and folks like Paul Ryan fighting against renewal of the current interest rate of loans for low-income college students (which would double the interest rate from 3.4% to 6.8%), attaining a degree is becoming more and more of a pipe dream for many. In fact, for more than 20 years, universities across the country have been raising tuition at rates faster than costs have risen on any other major product or service. Tuition has risen four times faster than the overall inflation rate and even faster even than increases in the price of gas and healthcare.

But you can’t argue disparity in average income and unemployment rate between those with and without a four-year degree.

William M. Mitchell, CPRW

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