College graduates significantly out-earn those without an advanced degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that American workers with a bachelor’s degree make $1,248 per week on average while workers with just a high school degree earn closer to $746 per week on average.
But according to a new report conducted by McKinsey and nonprofit Opportunity@Work, as many as 30 million U.S. workers without college diplomas have the skills necessary to earn 70% more. Often, the report claims, employer education requirements hold these workers back.
The report calls these workers “STARs” for “skilled through alternative routes” such as tech bootcamps, community college programs, workforce training, on-the-job skills building and military service. They found that in 2019, the wage gap between those with a bachelor’s degree and STARs was roughly $31.20 per hour versus $19.20 per hour.
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