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The Role of Education in Worker’s Income

As the proportion of educated workers is increasing, the value of education is decreasing in terms of both employability and income. Due to the population growth on the one hand and reduced labour supply on the other, especially after the 2008 economic crisis, the competition is getting more intense. As a result, there are now more highly educated workers without work than ever before, while many are working in ‘non-professional’ jobs. Nevertheless, better educated workers remain more desirable for the employers and thus they are more likely to find a job than their lesser educated counterparts. But they are also more likely to find better paying jobs.

Employers Aware of the Value of Highly Skilled and Educated Workers

In addition to having an advantage in finding a job, better educated workers are typically also paid more than those with less education and training. Despite the fact that the proportion of educated labour force is increasing, workers with high education or/and training are still the minority rather than the majority. This means that the labour supply for high-skills and high-education occupations remains relatively low as opposed to jobs requiring little or no education where labour supply is disproportionately high. However, there is more to it than just a numbers game.

In addition to having the necessary qualifications and competencies for high-skills and high-education jobs, more educated workers are usually also more productive. And higher productivity usually translates into higher output of products or services which in turn translates into higher profits. Most employers are therefore happy to pay more to more educated workers in order to attract them to their firms and companies, keep them in their team and the last but not the least important, to motivate them to give their very best at work. After all, the more and better they will work, the higher profit they will make.

How Much More?

Since investing in education means a later entry into labour force and consequently, not earning own money for a longer period of time, a questions occurs, does it pay off to spend more time in class? Absolutely! At least for the time being. The OECD data for the United Kingdom reveal that people with upper secondary education earn 30% more than those without upper secondary education.

The difference in earnings between those with tertiary and (upper) secondary education is even greater as those with tertiary education earn over 50 percent more. However, it is also important to mention that there are major differences between individuals with the same level of education as well; depending on their occupation, position and according to the OECD, gender too. Women of all educational levels are paid about 20 percent less than their male counterparts.