If you ever doubted the value of a higher education degree, a recent study by Georgetown University researchers of how workers fared during and after the recent recession answers that question. Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher maintained jobs during the recession and have gained 2 million more since then. Conversely, one out of every ten workers with a high school degree or less — lost their jobs during the recession and haven’t regained them during the recovery. Workers with associates degrees are holding essentially the same number of jobs as they were before the recession.
The study shows that some level of education beyond high school is critical to personal success and that more education generally leads to a brighter career. The Legislature took a step in the right direction in 2012 when it increased funding for higher education based on performance. This will help more Michigan residents get the education they need. But this was just the first step of what needs to be a long term commitment by the state to make increases to higher education a key priority because it’s one of the single best ways to grow personal income.