The 'motivation' for this study is the change of the occupational structure and the subsequent increase in employment opportunities especially for white-collar professionals, whose situation was comparatively weak under socialist rule. In this paper, it is assumed that the situation of university-educated people improved considerably in Poland as well as in most other transitional economies, when the business sector opened up and new opportunities in private enterprises started to emerge in the beginning of the 1990's. Thus, the central research task of this article is related to the value of education before and after the Polish transition from a socialist system to one characterised by a market economy and a free parliamentary system. It is also assumed that both for ideological reasons (abandonment of Marxist-Leninist glorification of manual work and industrial production) and practical reasons (expansion of possibilities for non-technically educated university graduates), the transition was a great divider that affected also the value of education, among many other things. Empirical research questions can be formulated as follows: What kind of an effect did the transition to post-socialism have on the value of education? Has the value of education declined as in most other countries, or has it risen as a consequence of market-liberalist changes? Special attention is paid to the situation of highly educated people, and also to differences according to gender.