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     Home >> GMAT >> Essays >> Essay - 101


    The following appeared as an editorial in a magazine concerned with educational issues. “In our country, the real earnings of men who have only a high-school degree have decreased significantly over the past fifteen years, but those of male college graduates have remained about the same. Therefore, the key to improving the earnings of the next generation of workers is to send all students to college. Our country’s most important educational goal, then, should be to establish enough colleges and universities to accommodate all high school graduates.” Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

       This editorial advocates universal college education as a means of improving the earnings of all the next generation of workers. In support of this recommendation the author points out that the real earnings of male high-school graduates have decreased over the past fifteen years whereas the earnings of male college graduates have remained stable over the same period. Furthermore, the author argues that a sufficient number of colleges and universities should be built to accomplish this goal. The author’s position is implausible for a number of reasons.

    In the first place, the evidence cited by the author pertains only to male high-school and college graduates. No comparable comparison of the earnings of female workers is made, yet the author recommends sending all students to college. If it turns out that no discrepancy between the real earnings of female high-school graduates and female college graduates exists during this same period, the author’s conclusion would be significantly weakened.

    In the second place, the author assumes that the primary factor that influences the earnings of workers is their level of education. While this is a reasonable assumption, it is by no means a certainty. For example, in countries undergoing political turmoil and reform, Page numbers AWA the educated class of citizens is often discriminated against and cannot find work. In such cases, lack of education might turn out to be a distinct economic advantage.

    Finally, a comparison of workers’ earnings during a 15-year period is insufficient evidence to warrant the author’s recommendation. Other factors besides worker’s level of education could account for the discrepancy in earnings during the period cited by the author. For example, the demand for college-educated workers may have outpaced the demand for high-school educated workers during the period in question and as a result increased their earnings disproportionately.

    In conclusion, the author’s argument is unconvincing. To strengthen the conclusion the author would have to provide information about the earnings of female workers that showed a trend comparable to the one cited for male workers. Additionally, evidence would be required for the assumption that level of education is the primary factor that influences worker’s earnings.




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