NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s bragging rights, really. But it means workers in Massachusetts are better educated.
Having a bachelor’s degree is really a good way to get into the job force. Massachusetts is now leading the nation, as the first state ever to have the majority of its employees to be college educated.
More than 50 percent of Massachusetts workforce holds a college degree. Compared to the national average of just 35 percent.
A college degree is becoming increasingly more valuable than a high school diploma. And wages may have something to do with that.
“Because there’s this large earnings disparity between high school degree holders and college degree holders,” said UMASS Economics researcher Jeanette Wicks-Lim. “People have very large incentives to get a college degree.”
According to the Social Security Administration, college graduates earn nearly a million dollars more over their lifetime than high school graduates.
Massachusetts and New Jersey both have the best educated workforce and the highest paid.
The median wage in Massachusetts is $3 more than the national average. And more people are earning degrees, including farmers.
“You can’t learn how to plant a seed and grow it in a classroom,” said Harrison Bradwell. “You have to do that out here. But learning the backgrounds of what diseases are what types of insects can kill your crops. Anyone that’s going into farming, goes to college for it.”
The report also found people with more education, also have higher household incomes.
The report also found inflation-adjusted wage growth has been weak for most Massachusetts workers, including those with degrees.