Abstract for: The Economics of Education: is it Profitable to be Ignorant?

In the UK, formal tertiary education comes at monetary cost to those who choose to participate. Currently 43% of young people enter universities in the belief that they will recoup the initial expense in higher salaries, later in life. Whilst this is a historically true model for the majority of graduates, many analysts believe that the Government's push for a 50% participation rate, coupled with rising costs to attend university, could affect the profitability of higher education and lead to a situation where ignorance is not only bliss but also an economically sound decision. This paper explores the current situation concerning the economic benefit of higher education: building a model to represent subject areas that do and do not offer long-term economic benefits. A stock-and-flow model is built, as a policy tool, to articulate where the delays appear in the system and reasons behind cyclical supply-demand employment gaps.