President Obama’s commitment to have the world’s highest rates of college graduation by 2020 received a nudge with a brand new release of the larger education data in the National Center for Education Statistics. Catherine Rampell from the New York Times reports the proportion of school graduates among 25-29 year-old Americans jumped by nearly 9% to 33.5% from 24.7% since 1995.
The increase is even more impressive when considering that in 1975 21.9% within the demographic were built with a college degree with little improvement within the 20 years that followed.
Experts attribute the rise both to raised college enrollment numbers among American youth and better efforts from schools to help students graduate. Employers searching for higher skilled employees they are driving developments in the technology sector might be a contributing factor to both.
The economic decline could have also played a job in pushing more students into pursuing advanced schooling to avoid seeking a job in an unfriendly employment market.
The recent recession, which pushed more workers of every age group to take shelter on college campuses as the job market was poor, has also played a job.
\”Basically, I was just barely getting by, and that i didn\’t like my job, and I wanted to do something that wasn\’t living dollar to dollar,\” said Sarah O\’Doherty, 24, a former nail salon receptionist who\’ll graduate next month from the County College of Morris in Nj with a degree in respiratory therapy. \”After I\’d my son, I needed to do something I felt passionate about, to have a career.\”
Degree attainment among women increased quicker than among men. Enrollment and graduation rates among African-American and Hispanic students was also higher than average.
The share of people with a college degree also varies tremendously by state, with 48.1 percent of people ages 25 to 34 in Massachusetts holding a bachelor\’s degree, but just 20.4 percent in Nevada, based on the National Center for Advanced schooling Management Systems, a research and development center founded to improve management at colleges.
Despite the current improvement, higher education experts emphasized that college completion rates remained as distressingly low, with only about half of first-time college freshmen who enrolled in 2006 having graduated by 2012, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.
Jamie P. Merisotis, chief executive of the Lumina Foundation, expressed reservations that small business were still outstripping the availability of college graduates, a worrying factor that could have a negative effect on the country’s future because the economy picks up speed and companies look to increase hiring.