While the U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest in the past 50 years, it continues to rise among men who did not go to college. In fact, only 78 percent of men aged 25-54 who never attended college were employed, according to the most recent study by the American Community Survey. That rate soars to approximately 90 percent for those who have at least one year of college. Back in the 1950s, employment rates for college-educated men and men who did not attend college were roughly equal.

The bad news for men without a college education also affects earnings. Between 1980 and 2015, the average hourly wages of men who attended college rose by 65 percent to $22 per hour. During that same time period, wages of those who never attended college dropped by nearly half to just $8 per hour.

College graduates earn an average of 56 percent more than high school graduates according to data from the Economic Policy Institute, the largest difference recorded since 1973. Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, employment opportunities for non-college graduates have decreased and income has actually declined.

“In light of these statistics, it’s more important than ever to not only consider starting a college education, but graduating from an institution that focuses on career preparation,” says Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. He continues, “The support our students receive really sets us apart. From day one, we’re committed to preparing our students for lifetime success.”

President Smith also noted that Career Services were a priority at Berkeley, where every program of study includes an internship, practicum, or job-related assignment to give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations and make valuable professional contacts. Members of the Career Services team also specialize in identifying and preparing students for opportunities in each of the career fields served by Berkeley’s programs. Berkeley graduates are also eligible for free career assistance*.

While findings—including those from the Bureau of Labor Statistics—confirm that a college degree significantly expands career opportunities and increases earning potential, other studies take a look at long-term financial stability. Research by Christopher Tamborini of the Social Security Administration and Changhwan Kim of the University of Kansas shows that college graduates are also more likely to contribute to a 401(k)-style retirement plan than those with only a high school diploma. In addition, real estate data firm Zillow points out that those with only a high school diploma are statistically less likely to own a home than college graduates.

“The benefits of a Berkeley College education are clearly understood,” notes President Smith. “We develop and update our programs with input from industry advisory boards to ensure that our students are learning the skills that today’s employers demand. When you walk across that graduation stage, you are ready to succeed.”

*while the College is in operation

The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit BerkeleyCollege.edu and view our catalogs at BerkeleyCollege.edu/publications