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While history has taught us that the ebb and flow of the economy is a constant, the past few years have shown us just how much things can change in a short amount of time. We’ve been reminded of the importance of taking steps to secure our financial and professional futures so we are prepared for whatever the world — and job market — throws our way. During the pandemic, many Americans took advantage of opportunities to advance their education with online degree programs and are now realizing the financial and professional benefits of earning their degrees. If you are considering going back to school and taking steps of your own to secure your future, there’s no time like the present to begin. With low interest student loans, recent government incentives and affordable degree programs, it’s time to start thinking about reaching your full potential, both in your career and your earnings.

Does it Really Pay to Earn Your Degree?

As you start thinking about going back to school, you may be asking, does a college degree really lead to a higher salary? And, if it does, will the increase in pay be worth it — worth the time, effort and money spent? You’ll be happy to hear, the answer is yes! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, advancing your education typically leads to higher weekly and annual earnings as well as higher lifetime earnings and retirement savings, and this is true for all levels of education. Let’s take a look at the latest data:

Median Usual Weekly Earnings by Educational Attainment, 2021*

  • Less than a high school diploma: $626
  • High school diploma: $809
  • Some college, no degree: $899
  • Associate degree: $963
  • Bachelor’s degree: $1,334
  • Master’s degree: $1,574
  • Professional degree: $1,924
  • Doctoral degree: $1,909

*Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey

As you can see from the data, your salary potential can increase with each level of education achieved. And, not only do you have the potential to make more money each week, but you can make more over your lifetime which will increase the amount you’re able to save for retirement.

Ways to Advance Your Education…and Salary

Earn Your Bachelor’s Degree

If you haven’t yet earned your high school diploma, the data shows that finishing your education or earning a GED can substantially increase your salary potential. Additionally, completing your high school education will allow you to pursue a college degree, and as the data proves, every degree earned can increase your earning potential.

For those who started college but didn’t finish a degree, completing your bachelor’s degree can significantly increase your earning potential by an average of over $22,000 per year. Tiffin University’s online Bachelor of Arts in workplace leadership degree completion program is specifically designed for students who have started but not yet finished their degree as it accepts up to 90 credits. This is a great opportunity to maximize the credits you’ve already earned and save time and money toward your bachelor’s degree.

If you have an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution, Tiffin University offers multiple ways to fast track your bachelor’s degree through our associate to bachelor’s degree completion program. No matter your original field of study, you’ll only be required to take a maximum of 61 credits toward any of the online associate to bachelor’s degree programs listed below:

Turning your associate degree into a bachelor’s degree can increase your annual salary potential by $20,000 or more, and over the course of a 40-year career, this can equate to more than $800,000 in additional income. Not only that, but you will be qualified to pursue advanced degrees, which can further increase your annual and lifetime earnings.

Earn Your Master’s Degree

If you decide to further your education at the graduate level, you can expect usual median weekly earnings of $1,574, or $81,867 annually. Tiffin University offers a variety of online and on campus master’s degree programs, most of which can be completed in one to one-and-a-half years when attending full-time, with part-time options available for those who need them. Whether it’s business, criminal justice, education, humanities or science, our affordable graduate degrees offer opportunities for you to reach your full potential, stand out in a competitive job market and earn more money over your lifetime. Individuals with graduate degrees can also expect more job opportunities and lower rates of unemployment.

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

Doctoral degrees are often called “terminal degrees” because they signify the furthest a person can take their education in a particular discipline. Those with doctoral degrees can earn an average of $1,909 per week, or approximately $100,000 annually. If you have earned your master’s degree and plan to pursue your doctorate, Tiffin University offers an online Ph.D. in global leadership and change specifically designed for adult learners that includes minimum residency requirements, affordable tuition and a highly supportive learning environment. And, with the potential to earn as much as $680,000 more over your lifetime than your peers with master’s degrees, you can count on a good return on your investment.

So, can you really earn more if you learn more? We hope the data showed you that the answer is positively yes! If you’ve been around our blog for a while, you may have read one of our favorite quotes by Ben Franklin — “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Only you have the power to secure your future, and the sooner you start working toward your next level of education, the sooner you can earn more money and achieve both your short and long-term financial goals. If you’re ready to take the next step, our admissions team is here to help you explore our degree programs designed for busy adults. Apply today or submit a request for information to learn more. We can’t wait to get to know you!

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