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Human Capital: High School vs. College Education

Updated on January 27, 2012

Acquiring Better Human Capital as a High School Graduate as opposed to A College Graduate

When some people think of “Human Capital” they presume assets, revenue, stocks, and shares are involved in the equation. Actually, there is quite a different type of scenario that comes into play. Becoming educated allows us to get the training that we need to get into the career of our choice. Education allows for the investing in human capital. For instance, if you have an individual that has just graduated from high school and he/she starts looking for employment, he/she may not like the opportunities that are out there for a high school graduate. Therefore, that particular person may not get the “dream job.” In other respects, say a person just got a business degree and she in return goes out and opens her own business. With the Education that she has under her belt, the materials that are needed are laid out so that she can open the business, which in return will produce stability for that person.

Training is another aspect of human capital. Without having the skills that you need for your particular career, you will find that you wouldn’t be proficient in a position that requires those specific skills. The idea of me to never stop learning tends to ring in my ear quite often. Often times I will see a word or hear a term that I am not familiar with. I then begin to broaden my horizons by getting my Webster’s Dictionary or either by using a Google search. Training is very economical. We as humans should never stop learning and continue to master our craft. Perfect ones skills as the years go by will cause one to endure great human capital. Formal Education is not the only way to experience human capital. These days a lot of companies are ready and willing to train there workers. I feel that one of the aspects for that decision for informal education is that they could pay an employee whom did not have years of experience or a BA, BS, or even a Master’s Degree less than what they would someone with formal education and/or years of experience under their belt.

Now we are going to talk about health. Health is a very pertinent aspect of the endurance of human capital. Health plays a great factor for those whom have a college degree as opposed to those who don’t. Someone with a college degree may tend to utilize the hospitals and/or the more expensive clinics than those who do not have a degree. This is in fact another form of human capital that is received in return for our countless hours of studying, mid-terms, finals and such. I believe someone who has just graduated is relieved when he/she experiences their last final.

At times high school graduates will debate about furthering their education. With tuitions getting to be so high for colleges/universities, the students feel that they should weigh the pros vs. cons. Would it be economical for them in the long run? There are quite a bit of recent graduates that can barely find minimum wage jobs, let alone a job in their field of study. This is where the structuring in the economy comes into play. We have qualified individuals that are looking to fill up a particular position. It is extremely hard out there. You may have been a 3.0 student, but that does not matter because Bobby Jones maintained a 4.0 average throughout his whole academic career. Where does that lead you now? You are basically competing with maybe 60-80 people who are going after the same positions, but there are only 5 seats to fill. But, on the other end there are people out there who are consistent and they still land there “dream job” and begin to experience the enriching human capital.

How you were raised and where you were raised is another great factor that comes in to play when we think about our human capital. Sometimes people hold on to what they are accustomed to. It is hard to break the chain at times. I am not saying that it can’t be done, but it has to take a lot ambition and hard work on the individual. The quote, “If you don’t learn from history, your doomed to repeat” is true in so many ways. If we want change and want to better our lives as we as our families’ lives, we must take the first step.


The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Human Capital by Gary S. Becker


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    • keithlipke profile image

      keithlipke 6 years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana

      Nice post I agree!!