Examining the Value of a College Degree

PayScale has been utilizing crowdsourced data to create better transparency around compensation for more than a decade. While we’ve primarily focused this effort on individuals trying to understand their market worth and employers who are actively managing compensation strategy within their organizations, we’ve always known that education can play an important role in career opportunity and success – and ultimately, yes, compensation. So we have decided to use our data to better understand the relationship between educational choices and career success.

The connection between higher education and career outcomes is a thorny issue – one that’s difficult to unravel but one that deserves our attention. With student loan debt spiraling out of control, it’s more important than ever for prospective college students to be armed with information that will not only help them decide where and what to study but how much debt they can afford based on their likely career prospects. To this end, PayScale publishes two annual reports on higher ed – the PayScale College ROI Report and the PayScale College Salary Report.

But, the questions surrounding the value of a college degree go far beyond alumni salaries and return on investment. That’s why we’ve asked thought leaders to weigh in. Here’s what they had to say: