How getting a degree drastically increases your salary

2017-01-29 12:13

How can you double your salary?

I found the most recent data showing the link between your level of education and your salary, in an article on the Business Tech website. This is data by Analytico from October 2016.

Here is the basic data, with some calculations I added:

Level of EducationGross Income per monthPercentage more than previous levelPercentage more than lowest levelMultiple of lowest levelMultiple of previous levelComparison with Grade 12Percentage Comparison with Grade 12
No SchoolingR1,704
Some Primary School (Grade 1 – 7 incomplete)R1,86710%10%
Completed Primary School (Grade 7)R1,9464%14%
Grade 8 – Grade 12 incompleteR2,66037%56%
Grade 12R4,97787%192%
Grade 12 with CertificateR8,32667%389%
Grade 12 with DiplomaR13,37861%685%
Bachelor’s degreeR21,52761%


Some simple deductions

The person who completes (passes) matric, can expect to earn double the income of the student who does not complete matric.

Education and Income

Get a degree and you can earn over 4 times what the person with matric will earn.

If you don't achieve matric, your income potential halves, compared to the person who passes their matric.

Just one extra year of education

The thing that strikes me, is that just one extra year of education can double your income potential.

Not sure if you should finish matric? Yes, you should. Your income potential doubles.

Not sure if you should do a one year certificate after matric? Yes, you should. Your income potential improves by 167%.

Not sure if you should go for that diploma course after matric? Yes, you should. Your income potential will be more than double that of someone who only has matric.

Why this obsession with getting a degree?

The person with a degree will earn 12,6 times the salary of a person with no education.

The person with a degree will earn over 4 times what the student with just matric will earn.

Unisa Degrees

Consider what happens to your life if you can double your income. And consider how you would live on only half your income.

Income over your lifetime

The person with the better education is off to a better start. And, when you analyse their income over the rest of their lives, you will see that the person with the better education keeps on getting more opportunities.

The increases and promotions go to the better-educated people in the workplace.

Employment Income Graph

Have a look at this graph. It shows how lower schooled workers start at a lower salary. And it shows how the salaries of the lower schooled workers do not grow over their lifetime the ways salaries grow for higher schooled workers.

Accumulated Advantage

Once you are ahead in the game of life, you just get more and more opportunity. And your advantage keeps on growing. So students should fight to get the best possible education - because it will impact their income and their opportunities for the rest of their lives.

Here is a comic explaining how the advantages we get early in life, accumulates.

About the Author:

Jan Badenhorst works as the CEO of Skills Academy. Skills Academy offers Home Study Courses to people who never completed Matric, or who cannot get entry into Universities.

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