As we complete the final touches to our 19th Annual CVEP Economic Report, we’ll continue our sneak peeks of the informative data in the final report. The last peek presented data on the average pay per worker by business sector for 2022. Today we’ll explore median pay in the Coachella Valley filtered by educational attainment. The media has been rampant with stories like The Atlantic’s “The College Backlash Is Going Too Far,” or Forbes’ “Why More Business Leaders Are Saying, ‘Ditch The 4-Year Degree.’ Although CVEP is bullish on locating a permanent 4-year college campus in the valley, and encouraging more STEM degrees for the valley, we won’t wade into the hot topic of the value of a college degree. Rather, we will present the data for your own judgment.

Median Earnings Based on Educational Attainment, 2021

Source: U.S. Census American Community Survey

Just like throughout the US, a bachelor’s or graduate/professional degree in the Coachella Valley does come, on average, with higher annual earnings.  But there are some notable exceptions here. The income, differential between educational attainment in Desert Hot Springs is much less pronounced. And, except for graduate or professional degree holders, residents of Indian Wells have strikingly similar median incomes despite their educational attainment.

Estimates of Educational Attainment for 2023

Source: Esri Business Analyst

To give median income by educational attainment some perspective, here is a chart showing the distribution of educational attainment for residents of the nine Coachella Valley cities. For comparison, an accompanying chart shows estimates of educational attainment for the Coachella Valley as a whole, as well as Riverside County, California, and the USA.