College Education: Demand Increases

August 19, 2011 | Florida Times-Union |  Link to article

Here's yet another reason to invest in higher education: By 2020, the demand for college-educated workers will grow faster than the supply of high school graduates.

That's one of the latest findings from a study compiled by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

It revealed that the number of high school graduates in 31 states and the District of Columbia will decline between 2010 and 2020.

Two states, Louisiana and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia, will see drops of around 20 percent.

Those declines are largely the result of an aging population.

What it means, though, is that more people aged 25 and older, rather than youths fresh out of high school, will need a college education if the U.S. economy is to thrive.

By 2020, there won't be much use for workers who have only completed high school, or worse, dropped out.

Evidence of that trend is apparent even now, as the unemployment rate hovers at 9 percent. Workers with some college education or an associate degree had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, while those with a bachelors degree or higher had the lowest unemployment rate - 4.5 percent.

What's more - the demand for college-educated workers is expected to keep rising over the next decade.

Policymakers and lawmakers will have to ease the way for adults to get college credentials. That's where the next pool of workers will come from - and ensure the nation's prosperity at home and its competitiveness abroad.

 

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