Higher education in Chile has experienced significant growth over the last few years. Local universities received a total of 768,885 students in 2009 and this number is expected to exceed 1 million by 2010.
But in addition to increased access to study programs, graduates are better paid. According to a Futuro Laboral report carried out by the Ministry of Education, on average over the course of their lives the country’s professionals earn US$ 300,000 more than students who just completed high school education.
Comparatively speaking, Chilean professionals are more highly valued than in other countries. For example, a person from the United States with a degree receives US$ 100,000 more over the course of his life than one who did not study at a university.
The advantage for Chilean professionals is even greater if you consider the countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose graduates in average only earn some US$52,000 more than those who do not have a university degree.
This serves as an important base for social mobility in Chile, as with improved preparation the resources obtained also increase. In fact, with an annual income of US$ 14,221, Chilean residents have the highest purchasing power in Latin America.
In addition, currently seven of every 10 university students is first generation, which means that their parents only finished high school and in some cases not even that.