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How studying grows your salary

BY: SGI|2 April 2019
BLOG| Deciding to study online

Some of the world’s most successful – and highest earning – individuals studied online. One of the biggest and best-known advocates for online studies is the chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates, who loves ‘Big History’ – a free online course by historian David Christian.


Incidentally, actor and filmmaker James Franco studied online. As did ‘The Terminator’ – aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is a big fan of e-books over traditional textbooks.


Gates has said many times that his most important trait is his curiosity. A characteristic he shares with his friend Warren Buffet. Online learning provides endless material to satiate this knowledge quest. Plus, learning just makes us more curious about the world, so it becomes a perpetuating cycle of wanting to know more!


In addition to kick-starting curiosity, learning – especially tertiary studies – can help individuals command better salaries. Here are a few studies demonstrating this:

  • A 2017 Page One Economics study on Education, Income and Wealth (American focused) found that ‘individuals with more education earn higher incomes – in fact, there’s a college wage premium, which refers to the higher income resulting from a college degree. Additionally, the more skills people have, the more employable they are’. That’s excellent justification for studying throughout your life!


  • Research by Statistics South Africa and Analytico shows that successful matriculants can expect to earn nearly double the salary of someone who did not complete high school. Those with tertiary education can earn up to 67% more, while those with a bachelor’s degree can expect a 330% jump in earnings.


  • In the US, there’s a rising wave of ‘new-collar jobs’ that require specific skills but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. A skills scarcity means many jobs stay open – which provides big opportunities for those willing to train to fill them. These jobs can eventually command six-figure salaries – especially in the tech realm. People with degrees are even opting to retrain to be the right fit for the roles. Hence, there’s been a rise in demand for programmes that focus on instilling the skills most in-demand in the market. That’s a big focus for SGI, which offers practical learning components for instantly applicable skills.


For more information on how Stellenbosch Graduate Institute courses can help you to advance your career, visit SGI.co.za.

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