College & Workforce Readiness

The Education Payback

By Kevin Bushweller — December 28, 2006 1 min read

A story published the day after Christmas in the Chicago Tribune titled “Schoolwork Beats the Working World” recently caught my eye.

According to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, teenagers and their parents appear to be getting the message that a college education provides a bigger payoff, in the long run, than the quick cash of low-end jobs many teenagers take at the expense of their schoolwork, the article says.

The article points out that more and more parents are discouraging their children from taking such jobs when they are in high school. Rather, they want them to be rested for school and motivated to do well.

The Federal Reserve Bank researchers point out in the article that the wage payoff linked to a college education is nearly double what it was in the late 1970s. This is the kind of data that should be shared with every middle and high school student in the country, especially those who think that just ‘getting by’ in school will not come back to haunt them later in life when they wonder why they are not making more money.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.