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How Professional Development Can Lead to Salary Raises and Promotions

  • 2 Min Read

There are many reasons to pursue professional development. But one that speaks to most people: The opportunity to earn more and get promoted. Here are eight statistics that show how professional development can improve your earning power and career.


“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” 

That’s what Benjamin Franklin had to say about the value of learning. And it’s true: There is a clear correlation between learning and earning. While some folks learn for the intrinsic value, everyone could use a little more cash. 

Below are eight statistics that show just how valuable (in some cases, literally dollars and cents) professional development can be for your career earnings and promotability. You can read each statistic and find its source beneath this infographic.

Professional Development Salary Statistics: 


The relative increase in salary received by those who return to higher education compared to those who don’t return, according to Lightcast.


The share of North American employers who said that continuing education has a positive impact on an employee’s pay scale, according to research from Evolllution.


The increase to annual salary, on average, for Americans working in data and artificial intelligence who took over 100 hours of training, according to data presented by O’Reilly Media. That’s compared to $7,000, on average, for employees who took 1 to 19 hours.


The average amount more that certificate holders earn per year compared to those without, according to the Association for Talent Development.

Professional Development Promotion Statistics:


How much more likely adults who return to school are to achieve upward mobility in their career, according to research from Lightcast.


The percentage of employees surveyed who believed that they had the skills needed to thrive professionally for the next four years. That number comes from Deloitte research.


The percentage of the global workforce who are expected to need reskilling by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum.


The percentage of employers surveyed who said they had a hard time filling open positions because of skills gaps. That’s according to Monster.

Get Ready to Take on Professional Development

Check out our ultimate checklist for going back to school as an adult or working professional.

Written by:

Chase Banger
Chase Banger

Chase Banger is a Content Marketing Specialist at D2L. An award-winning journalist and former communications specialist, he has a passion for helping people through education.

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Table of Contents
  1. Professional Development Salary Statistics: 
  2. Professional Development Promotion Statistics:
  3. Get Ready to Take on Professional Development