Well, it's finally time. I want you to head to your kitchen, retrieve the small rubber mallet you had stowed in that sort of sad bit under your sink where you typically keep cleaning products and I want you to smash the protective glass on the special cabinet you had erected for this, for this very occasion, and retrieve the bottle of celebratory champagne. A lot of people questioned why you had bought a bottle of champagne and constructed a specifically designed cabinet to house it in anticipation of the release of a survey on higher education rates conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Well, now, it would seem that those nay-sayers have egg - and if they stood too near the protective glass while you were malleting it open, small shards of glass - on their face. As this latest report on higher education by the OECD has revealed Ireland to, proportionally, have the most highly educated young people in Europe. Quaff deeply from your champagne, glug merrily on its bubbly charge.
- Should you not have a bottle of champagne secreted in a cabinet specially constructed in anticipation of positive news from an OECD survey, then please ignore the above paragraph.
Today the OECD, which compiles statistics on various aspects of economies throughout participating nations, released its educational report for 2018. It showed that Ireland ranked particularly highly across several key metrics.
The percentage of the population between 25-64 who have completed tertiary level education was one of the highest in OECD countries, standing at 47%. The percentage was even higher when that demographic was narrowed. Some 56% of 25-34 year olds have attained tertiary level education. This was the fourth highest across OECD countries, and the highest for any European country. Korea, the Russian Federation, and Canada were the only three countries with higher attainment rates than Ireland.
The study also highlighted the significant benefits that a tertiary education can bring. Some 85% of Irish people who've received third-level education are in employment, 11 percentage points higher than those who only received secondary and non-tertiary further education. The disparity in earning potential in Ireland is far higher between these two groups than across the OECD. Irish people who've earned a Bachelor's Degree earn on average 81% more than those who've only finished secondary school - the OECD average for this hovers at around 44%. This number is even higher for those with Masters, who can expect to earn twice as much as those without third level education.
Good news for all those starting college then, your choice, has been verified by an economic think-tank to be financially prudent.