A Community College Education Leads to Higher Earnings, Particularly for Women

CtrPRA report from the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis, finds that community college education leads to higher earnings. And this is particularly true for women.

Researchers examined the earnings history and academic records of about 2.5 million students who enrolled at California community colleges between 1992 and 2011. The data showed that students who completed an associate’s degree increased their earnings by 33 percent. Those that earned a certificate from a community college increased their earnings by 27 percent.

If we breakdown the data by gender, we find that an associate’s degree increased earnings for women by 42 percent, whereas men’s earnings increased by only 21 percent. The primary reason for the difference, according to the authors, was because women were more likely than men to earn associate’s degrees in high-paying health care fields.

AHStevensAnne Huff Stevens, the director of the Center for Poverty Research and the lead author of the study, said that “declining real wages and record high unemployment for those without college degrees makes it essential that we understand what programs can most benefit these workers.” Dr. Stevens, who is also a professor of economics and interim dean of the Graduate School at the University of California, Davis, is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. Before joining the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 2003, Dr. Stevens taught at Yale University and Rutgers University.

The report, Community College Career Technical Education Programs Significantly Increase Earnings, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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