The College-Educated Telemarketer

Pretty much everyone now knows that college graduates earn more than people who have only attainted a high school degree. But perhaps this was limited to college graduates in professional jobs, many worried. There are, after all, a lot of people who have been to college but hold jobs that don’t actually require a college education.

No, it turns out they still earn more. According to an article by Seth Fiegerman at The Street:

When debating whether college is worth the money, it may be tempting for some families and students to assume that higher education is only really useful for those pursuing white-collar jobs, but as one new report shows, four-year degrees lead to significantly higher wages in professions across the board.

Those who earn bachelor’s degrees and work lower-skilled jobs like salesmen, cashiers and telemarketers still earn at least 50 percent more than their peers who have only a high school education, according to a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education, which analyzed pay differences by education for more than two dozen professions. In fact, counter and rental clerks, who handle repairs and other customer services, earn 73 percent more on average with a bachelor’s degree compared to those with a high school degree.

The reason for this is a little unclear. It may be that college graduates simply get better jobs as salesmen and cashiers. Another possibility is that college graduates end up assuming more responsibilities and earning more promotions even when they have relatively low-skill jobs.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer