To earn more, keep learning

Local high school seniors will don caps and gowns Friday and Saturday as they celebrate their graduation with family and friends.

Indeed, every time a student graduates from high school, it is a good reason for the community to celebrate. But education shouldn’t stop at high school graduation.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for young adults – those ages 25 to 34 – higher educational attainment is associated with higher median earnings.

In 2011, the median earnings for young adults was $22,900 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent. For those with a high school diploma, the figure was $30,000. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the figure was $45,000.

Unfortunately, not enough of our local students are graduating from high school.

In a story published Tuesday, we noted graduation rates in many local school districts were higher in 2012-13 than in 2011-12.

However, some of the districts have a long way to go. For instance, Gloversville’s graduation rate went from 59.6 percent to 64.7 percent, but the percentage obviously is still too low.

While those who have graduated from high school may not consider this pertinent to their endeavors, they should know they are not done learning. Continuing on to higher education or learning technical skills likely will be crucial to their success.

As a recently released study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed, a college degree is still a sound investment. The study found that even with increased tuition and reduced wages, the return for associate’s and bachelor’s degrees has held at about 15 percent for more than a decade.

Graduating from high school is just one step in students’ education; they must never stop learning.