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How valuable is a college degree?

On average, workers with a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree see clear and sizable advantages in annual earnings compared to those who have yet to complete a four-year degree.

By Tyler Hansen
Aug. 23, 2019

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2019. It was updated in April 2022 with new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There is immense personal value in earning a bachelor’s degree. It’s a badge of honor you carry with you for life.

And it’s a game-changer in the job market.

Albert Diaz, Oregon State University Ecampus computer science graduate, lifting his son in the air.Play

To boost his career, Albert Diaz enrolled online with Oregon State to pursue his postbaccalaureate degree in computer science. His plan paid off.

By earning your bachelor’s degree, you could earn as much as $1 million more than someone with a high school diploma over the course of a career, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS findings also show that graduating with a four-year degree increases your chances of finding employment. On the other hand, those with some college experience but no degree have an unemployment rate higher than the national average.

Many students who have earned their degrees online with Oregon State University Ecampus can attest to the direct impact their academic success had on their careers. Among them is Maria Carpenter, whose bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences immediately led to a role as a rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Oregon State Ecampus — a nationally ranked leader in online education — delivers more than 90 degree and certificate programs at a distance. Explore our offerings today and find the program that best matches your interests and career aspirations.


Discover more about the Oregon State Ecampus online learning experience and the programs and courses we deliver online.

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