The average income of workers with sub-degrees in Hong Kong had dropped by almost 20 per cent over the last two decades, and workers with only secondary school education made almost as much last year, a recent study showed.
The salary drop came as the residential property price index hit 296.8 last year, an increase of 177 per cent from 1995.
Researchers from think tank and political group New Century Forum said this showed that sub-degree holders did not enjoy Hong Kong’s economic growth, but also suffered from soaring property prices. The group doubted if it was worth it to pursue sub-degrees – that help students get into university – unless students wanted to obtain a degree.
The study by the Census and Statistics Department found that sub-degree holders in 1995 had a median monthly income of HK$20,463, compared to HK$16,898 last year, which is a 17.4 per cent drop.
The study also showed that 20 to 24-year-olds among the holders saw a 10 per cent drop in their income from HK$12,141 in 1995 to HK$10,934 last year.
In 1995, the level of income for this age group of sub-degree holders was 19 per cent higher than those with a secondary education, but last year, both groups had about the same income level.
Joshua Mok Ka-ho, vice president of Lingnan University, said the drop in income could be the result of the increasing number of sub-degree holders.