The College Grad, the Endurance Athlete, or the Ferrari Owner?

The New York Times revealed that college graduates earn 1.8x that of high school graduates with no college. The author concludes that “15 years or 17 years of education [makes] sense as a universal goal.”

The author doesn’t share absolute average earnings for college graduates and high school graduates, but a little googling suggests that high school grads with no college earn an average of around $35,000. So it appears that people can boost their income to an average of $68,000 by earning a college diploma! That’s a huge difference, and it makes for a compelling argument in favor of going to college, right?

As bold as they are, I think they aren’t pushing that logic far enough. If we really want people to be more prosperous, we should have everyone become an endurance athlete!

Fortune says that people who sign up for triathlons earn an average of $126,000 (which is over 3.6x high school grads). Even better, we should have everyone sign up for the New York City Marathon. Those folks earn an average of $130,000 (a 3.7x premium)!

My point, of course, is that earning a college degree correlates with high monetary earnings, but does not necessarily result in earnings. If correlation was causation, we’d be better off encouraging folks to sign up for triathlons and marathons. Endurance events are much much cheaper, and one can prepare for a marathon in less than half a year.

Someone in here claims that the average income of Ferrari owners is $570,000! That’s over 16x the average for high school grads! Ferraris for everyone!

Question: If you had to hire one of three people, and you knew only one thing about each person – that one had a college degree, one had completed a marathon, and one owned a Ferrari – which would you hire and why?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s