Yes, there is evidence to show that people with a higher education qualification do earn more than those without!
Of course there is debate about the figures, and they can vary widely between surveys and subjects, but typically, on average, someone with a level 4 qualification will earn £200 more per week than someone with a level 3 qualification!
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) claims a university degree is worth up to £117,000 in additional earnings over a graduate's working life.
The study looked at the period to the end of 2011, before tuition fees in England were increased.
Even, post 2012 - in this time of recession, increased fees and higher graduate unemployment - those with a degree are on average financially better off than those without and are finding it easier to get into the job market.
There are factors which influence the level of increased earnings from doing a higher education level qualification, like career choice, type of qualification, grades, age, sex, subjects, and where you study.
Employers pay most for skills and qualifications that are specialised and are particularly important to their business or are in short supply. By 2020, it is estimated that 40% of the workforce will require higher level skills (skills associated with higher education).
Higher skills improve your job prospects too!
Higher skills will also give you an edge in the job market and help you progress in your career. Employers are often looking for people with graduate level skills - irrespective of the degree subject which has been studied.
People with higher level skills are less likely to be unemployed, this is partly because their higher-level skills allow them to do a range of jobs. Also, graduates are frequently found to be working at higher levels in organisations.
And there are other non-financial benefits
There are also lots of other benefits associated with having a higher level qualification, like having better health and being less likely to have depression, as well as more job satisfaction, etc. Follow this link to read a report about the non-financial benefits of HE level study.