- Regardless of family education or financial background, a significant number of young adults aged 22 to 35 (41%) who completed a degree are financially healthier than those who didn't attend college, according to a new report. Money Under 35, a report from the asset management firm Navient, shows that young adults who completed their degree also faired notably better financially than those who started but didn't complete their degree. The national study of 3,011 young Americans offers a snapshot of their financial state in the current economy.
- The study also found that degree holders are more likely to have a job (84%) than those without a degree (62%), and degree holders are more likely to be working full time (70%) than those without a degree (43%). Degree holders are also generally very positive about their financial health, with 45% giving their current financial health an 8, 9 or 10 rating on a 10-point scale, compared with 30% of people without a degree.
- For three consecutive years, young adults who didn't finish college are the least likely to score in the "excellent" range on the Financial Health Index. Young adults who have some college but didn't earn a degree are much less likely to feel that they're financially stable at this time in their life (29%) compared to 43% of those with a high school diploma or less and 56% of those with a degree.
Financial wellness is a growing area of focus for employers, as are education benefits — and the two are tied together in myriad ways, studies continue to confirm. Financial wellness can take many forms, including lessons on retirement savings and planning, budget management and identity protection, but student debt repayment remains a large barrier to wage growth for young employees. Programs that ease the weight of debt or — as is increasingly common — provide low-cost access to diplomas could go a long way in attracting talent. Walmart, McDonald's and Discover all recently announced programs that offer low or even free college degree programs in order to sway workers in the market.
The lack of a diploma, however, is not the black mark it once was on a resume. As employers look to fill openings in a tight labor market and overcome the skills shortage, more are considering hiring people without degrees but who otherwise obtained the skills needed to perform the work. And with changes in the nature of work predicted to disrupt the workplace of the future, employers might need to train and retrain employees, whether they have degrees or not.