The Changing Value of Education
In the 1980s, education was an increasingly worthwhile investment. According to data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), in 1979, men and women with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned $30,507 per year, 77% more than the $17,283 per year earned by workers with only a high school diploma. By 1989, annual earnings of those with a college degree had risen to $37,288, nearly double the $18,952 earned by high school graduates. Similarly, high school graduates earned 47% more per year, on average, than high school dropouts in 1979 ($17,283 versus $11,737), and high school graduates earned 80% more than high school dropouts in 1989 ($18,952 versus $10,522).