Although most people see higher education as obligatory to get high-paying jobs, research shows this is not always the case

A governmental study of America’s low-wage workers – earning less than $16 an hour – are considerably better educated than they were 20 years ago.

22 percent of Americans who earn between $12 and $16 an hour now possess college degrees, having increased from 16 percent in 1995.

The American workforce began changing dramatically after the theory emerged that possessing a degree of any kind would guarantee higher-paying, better jobs.

The study revealed that although certain fields of study, particularly technology and mathematics, are more likely to lead to higher-paying salaries, a college degree in no way automatically ensures a high paying job.

The Government Accountability Office, which spearheaded the study, revealed that a major concern resulting from this new trend is “degree inflation”.

Jobs that previously went to high school graduates are now going to college graduates, and those without college degrees find it increasingly more difficult to find work.

Families earning minimum wage live in poverty

The study revealed that 20 percent of families living off minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) are living in poverty, compared to 5 percent of families that earn $12-$16 an hour.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an active advocate of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, said that numerous studies have indicated $7.25 an hour is “starvation wage”.

“The gap between the richest Americans and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s,” Sanders said. “Instead of giving huge tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, we must invest in critical programs that help working families to make ends meet and lift millions of Americans out of poverty.”