The Case for Action
Post-secondary education and career readiness encompasses a wide range of experiences – including but not confined to education at community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, military training, technical training and apprenticeships.
While the U.S. is making progress on college enrollment—with enrollment increasing 32% between 1998 and 2008 – that is not translating to more young adults getting college degrees, and our competitors are way ahead. The United States now ranks twelfth in the percentage of 24- to 35-year olds with an associate’s degree or higher. And yet, some 34% of all job openings through 2018 in the United States will require at least a bachelor’s degree, and another 45% will be “middle skills” jobs, requiring more than a high school diploma.
All told, these statistics carry tremendous implications for our future. It’s clear that high school is not enough anymore, for anyone who wants to earn a living wage. But what may not be widely known is that few students are graduating from high school prepared for college. Only 34% of seniors who graduate are ready for college. About half the students who go to college end up taking at least one remedial math or English class that doesn’t count toward a degree or credential. As is the case all along the education continuum, the numbers are even grimmer for students of color and from low-wage families – for college preparation, enrollment and completion.
United Way and community partners offer a pathway to improved education and career opportunities.
- Businesses can sign up to be a site for the Manufacturing Career Intern Program
- Visit the Gail Borden Public Library Careers and Education Department