Maryland is the highest ranked state in terms of median household income with $76,805 in 2015. Mississippi is the lowest ranked state in terms of median household income with $40,037 in 2015. In 2015, the median household income for the United States as a whole was $61,372. If we compare a higher ranked state similar to Maryland, we would expect there to be more middle to upper middle class residents. If we compare a lower ranked state similar to Mississippi, we would expect there to be more working to lower middle class residents. A significant factor in determining someone’s salary is education. This can be clearly seen if you look at statistics. Please reference salary numbers.
Here are a few interesting numbers averaged between the years of 1991 and 2003.
There is a clear trend, which shows the more educated you are, the more money you are likely to make. These numbers are going to change with time, but the trend should remain the same. When you are goal setting, you should keep this in mind. Not everyone loves school, but it really is only a few years of investment that can provide you with a lifetime of opportunity. If you are older and have been working in your career for many years, it is never too late to go back to school. I had my bachelors degree and went back for my masters degree, which was paid 100% by my employer. After completing my masters degree, I did not immediately receive an increase in salary in my current position. What it did allow was the opportunity to move into another role that did pay more money.
In selecting the level of education you are targeting, keep in mind cost associated with school, books, and possible time off from work. For example, is another $10K to $15K worth the additional 2 years of schooling to earn your bachelors degree versus associates degree? A year in college can cost you roughly $15K to $30K, plus books and living expenses. Although the difference is relatively small between the associates degree and bachelor degree, we must realize the opportunities that are available for a bachelor degree are much greater than someone with an associates degree. To help reduce education costs, pursue an employer who helps pay for your education.
The other benefit most are not talking about is that education helps you grow your mind. Similar to muscles, your brain needs to be exercised and conditioned to perform well. If you do not challenge your mind, it may lose agility and its ability to think as clearly. School can be challenging and push you to think about things in different ways. School requires you to read, study, and complete assignments. If you are thinking about school, stop thinking, and do it! Apply, register, and start taking your courses with a goal in mind. Make sure you have your objectives clearly laid out. Make sure you have an end point in mind. Make sure you are pushing hard for what you want because nobody else is going to give it to you.