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Competitiveness / Education  Research


Academic programs that end up rewarding more – Swedish perspective

Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Much has and is being said about the nature of education is these days as higher education get more expensive but it looks like the reward promise of good jobs and pays seem to be a myth. While some camps are totally repudiating the idea of encouraging university education, others are saying that it depends on the course studied. So which education course(s) are more financially rewarding in the long run?

Several academic programs are not profitable in comparison with a high school education, according to a report from the Swedish Confederation of professional associations, Saco.

Scores of graduates are out on the streets finding it hard to get into work despite spending huge amounts of money and time studying.  This has put into question the value of higher education.

Unfortunately, there are many academic programs that will never be profitable, even after a full life career. What training you choose, where you study, and when you start to work will be very important for your personal lifetime. But it also plays a role in your lifetime earnings if you become unemployed, provided you have one or more children of if you are married or single, male or female.

According to Saco knowledge is one of the main drivers of development. That's why the organisation believes that education should be profitable so that more people should choose to get a college education, training or research. But there are still skill sets are would be attractive in the jobs market todays.

Saco has figured out a so-called live salary, calculating where incomes and pensions would be after taxes over their working lives at the same rate of student debt and the risk of unemployment. Put together, certain academic programs are simply not profitable.

Saco identify that this especially hit training programs with few career paths and thus little chance of a good wage therefore a very low live time pay, often female-dominated occupations in the public sector. Examples of unprofitable occupation are for example teaching, physiotherapist, social worker and librarian – mostly with university degree.

The most profitable profession is doctor, with an estimated live time earning of skr22 million. Thereafter, civil engineer with approximately Skr20 million followed by economists who earn just under Skr20 million, according to Saco. Team


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