A university degree doesn’t necessarily pay the bills

The myth of having to go to university to pay the bills has been quashed, with a new report revealing levels of education aren’t always linked to income levels.

The myth of having to go to university to pay the bills has been quashed, with a new report revealing levels of education aren’t always linked to income levels.

A survey produced by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research reports Australians who have lower levels of education still infiltrate higher income brackets.

“The age of the self-made man or woman, who achieves a high income despite modest formal educational attainments, is thought to be past,” the report says.

“Among men who were working in 2005, 24.8% of those with less than a Year 12 education were in the top half of the male earnings distribution and 75.2% were in the bottom half.”

The report also found the figures for women were just as surprising, with 29.2% of those lacking a Year 12 education in the top half of the distribution, with 70.8% in the bottom half.

The study also finds personality traits such as demeanor, social networking and contacts also contribute significantly in determining a worker’s financial accomplishments.

“More detailed analysis showed that some individuals with low levels of formal education and a (self-reported) willingness to take risks appear to have higher earnings than might otherwise be predicted,” the report says.

“Without wishing to cast doubt on the value of education or the general validity of human capital theory, it is still worth pointing out that many people who lack much formal education still make good money.”

But the report also admits education is a factor in determining financial stability, as those with little or no education “more likely than those with higher levels of education not to be working at all, or to be working part-time rather than full-time”.

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