Returns on learningPrivate net present value for an individual with tertiary education as part of initial education, US$ ‘000s Education at a Glance 2009: OECD Indicators

When learning pays

Jobs crisis or no, it's best to invest in education. As this year's edition of Education at a Glance shows, men and women who have university-level degrees earn far more over the course of a lifetime than those who don't. In fact, men with higher education in Italy and the US can earn over US$300,000 more than their counterparts who do not have a university degree. Rewards tend to be lower for women, with Korea and Spain the exceptions.

High levels of education benefit the community too. Better educated people are generally healthier and wealthier, which means higher savings and consumption, as well as lower public spending on healthcare and more revenue for government. In short, investing in education is not only safe, but gives impressive returns, too.

Education at a Glance 2009: OECD Indicators is available at

©OECD Observer No 274, October 2009

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