There is one thing most Europeans have been able to agree on over the years, it is that getting an education, particularly a college education, is a key to human betterment and prosperity. Also the Americans believed up to now that studying at a university is the best way to become a millionaire.


Promoters of higher education have long emphasized its role in meeting civic needs. To study was a symbol of wealth and development. The Puritans who established Harvard were concerned about a shortage of clergy; during the Progressive Era, John Dewey insisted that a proper education would make people better citizens, with enlarged moral imaginations.

Recently, as wage stagnation and rising inequality have emerged as serious problems, the economic arguments for higher education have come to the fore. “Earning a post-secondary degree or credential is no longer just a pathway to opportunity for a talented few,” the White House Web site states. “Rather, it is a prerequisite for the growing jobs of the new economy.”

In Europe studying is not anymore any job garantuee

The investment that a family has to execute for its kids to get an academic education sometimes is not reimboursed with a better salary than for instance a mechanic or electrician could earn. In Spain the average salary of young acadamics is between 1500 – 2000 euros. And this after five years of investment in time and money.

Despite the increasing costs—and the claims about a shortage of college graduates—the number of people attending and graduating from four-year educational institutions keeps going up. During the past decade or so, however, a number of things have happened that don’t easily mesh with that theory. If college graduates remain in short supply, their wages should still be rising. But they aren’t.

In 2001, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington, workers with undergraduate degrees (but not graduate degrees) earned, on average, $30.05 an hour; last year, they earned $29.55 an hour. Other sources show even more dramatic falls. “Between 2001 and 2013, the average wage of workers with a bachelor’s degree declined 10.3 percent, and the average wage of those with an associate’s degree declined 11.1 percent,” the New York Fed reported in its study. Wages have been falling most steeply of all among newly minted college graduates.

Studies are no garantuee anymore, because although more and more peopel study the jobless rates have been rising and the wages falling.