Household Wealth & Educational Attainment: What kind of education matters in the 21st century?

Housing has always been part of any family’s dream, and also happens to define the wealth of a family. With anywhere between 63 to 69% of the US household being homeowners over the years and with wealth of a family also connected to the level of education, it appeared relevant to determine the relationship between levels of educational attainment over the years to relative ratio of Median Household Income (MHI) to Median New Home Prices (MNHP), which partly defines household wealth. To get a better understanding of this data, several charts were generated using US census data, and those are presented below.

Based on the census data,[1] though the median household income and educational attainment (see Figure 1) has been increasing over the years, the ratio of MHI to MNHP with respect to education attainment appears to be decreasing over time (see Figure 2) suggesting that the rate of increase in new home prices outsize the rate of increase in median household income.

With the current population increasing from around 200 million to 320 million since 1975 (based on census data), and with the forecast for US population & global workforce expected to hover around 400 – 450 million & 5 billion respectively by 2050 [2], what is in store for the future? Note: Similar such analysis can be extrapolated to several other parts of the world.

1. Should educational attainment increase further to keep up with inflation?

2. Would there be enough relevant jobs matching education, even if students were to secure these additional degrees?

3. Would there be more investor-backed educational institutions created in the marketplace to match the demand for education?

4. Would increasing the number of educational institutions or increasing educational offerings through different formats combat rising educational costs?

5. Would the educational quality get compromised to meet the demand, and also to extract maximum revenue (and not utility) from the market?

6. With employment market trending towards sole dependence on third-party consultants, networking and recruiters, would education be valued in the first place?

7. If education is important, what kind of education is needed in the 21st century in order to reap the benefits of educating ourselves?

These concerns should be addressed in the near future for the value of education not to be diluted any further.

Points to consider:

- In this technological, knowledge-based world, information spreads faster than we think, and connects not only people but also various areas of focus. For that reason, educational institutions should take a balanced approach, and should include a curriculum that bridges various areas together, thus providing all the necessary tools to think, analyze, and solve problems from different perspectives.

- It is also important that merit is valued, and would result in meaningful jobs for majority of the qualified workforce

- There needs to be clear, objective performance metrics in place to retain top talent

Note: This particular article presents a simplified analysis connecting educational attainment to the ratio of MHI/MNHP. There are certainly other variables to consider for a deeper analysis, but with most of the population pursuing higher education to enhance job opportunities and career, this analysis connecting the ratio of MHI/MNHP with educational attainment appears relevant.


Data used for various analyses: Trend charts (updated periodically with more data)

Uniqueness about these analyses

Housing Enigma: To be a Multi-(Millionaire or Billionaire) (June, 2014)

Educational Attainment & Household Wealth: Future of Education (June, 2014)

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