The Declining Value Of Your College Degree by Greg Ip:
For decades, the typical college graduate’s wage rose well above inflation. But no longer. In the economic expansion that began in 2001 and now appears to be ending, the inflation-adjusted wages of the majority of U.S. workers didn’t grow, even among those who went to college. The government’s statistical snapshots show the typical weekly salary of a worker with a bachelor’s degree, adjusted for inflation, didn’t rise last year from 2006 and was 1.7% below the 2001 level.
To be sure, the average American with a college diploma still earns about 75% more than a worker with a high-school diploma and is less likely to be unemployed. Yet while that so-called college premium is up from 40% in 1979, it is little changed from 2001
The job market is more challenging than it was, it seems to me. Counting on being able to steadily progress during your career, without any gaps or times when you must accept much less than you hoped, is risky. This is one more reason why it is so important to spend less and save more in the good times in your career.