Women reap an even bigger reward for more education. With a university degree, you can expect to earn the same as men—roughly $1.5 million in lifetime earnings—compared to $270,000 over your lifetime with just a high school diploma.
Getting your Grade 12 or GED is step one to a better life … but it’s not enough. You need post secondary education or training. Here’s another way to look at it. In an average week, a skilled tradesperson will earn $178 more than a high school dropout, someone with a college certificate or diploma will earn $218 more and a university grad will earn $558 more.
FACT: those without a high school diploma earn the least amount of money and have the highest unemployment rate. In Northern Saskatchewan, for example, 31% of adults with less than high school are unemployed compared to only 17% of high school grads, 12% of post-secondary certificate or diploma holders and 3% of university degree holders. (Statistics Canada)
“The higher your educational attainment the more you earn—especially Aboriginal people.” – Bridging the Aboriginal Education Gap in Saskatchewan
Closing the Gap
Without an education, Aboriginal people earn dramatically less than non-Aboriginal people. But did you know that with post secondary education, the gap in earnings largely disappears? It’s true. According to a report called Bridging the Aboriginal Education Gap in Saskatchewan, “the difference in earnings largely goes away with higher levels of education for North American Indians. The difference in earnings more than goes away for Métis.”
Apprenticeship trade, career training, college certificate or diploma, university degree— education increases your employment prospects and your earning power. It also gives you more control over your life, including the kind of jobs you get and the wages you earn.
What Lifetime Earnings Mean in Real $$
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy other things—new clothes, a snowmobile or ATV, a warm weather holiday in the winter, a new truck, a nice house, etc. Say you want to buy a brand new, 2012 top-of-the-line Ford F-150 Supercab 4×4 truck, sticker price $52,000.
Finishing high school instead of dropping out is the equivalent of owning 5 to 8 new trucks over your lifetime.
If you go on to get a university degree instead of stopping at a high school diploma, it’s like owning anywhere from 11 to 17 more new trucks. The more you learn, the more you earn—the more you earn, the better able you are to support your family and buy some of the things you want in life.