Returning to College more Important than Ever

In 2010, researchers at Georgetown University published a report titled “Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements by 2018.” A key finding of the report was that the recession had accelerated the shift to jobs requiring a post-secondary education.

Nearly 8 million jobs were lost from December 2007 to July 2010. Manufacturing jobs disappeared and were replaced by jobs that require different kinds of workers with much higher education levels. 

By 2018 the economy will create 46.8 million jobs. Nearly two-thirds of these jobs will require workers with at least some college education and 15.4 million of these jobs will require a bachelor’s degree, the researchers found.

This accelerated growth in demand for post-secondary education dovetailed with two existing  trends. First, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 fastest growing careers through 2020, including event planners (#2) and market research analysts (#4), will require workers with a bachelor’s degree. Second, occupations as a whole are steadily requiring more education.

The workers who were displaced or lost their jobs during the recession could be educated to fill the new jobs that are being created in this new economy. However, many colleges and universities have structures in place that support a system built largely for traditional students.  

The Lumina Foundation, whose goal is to promote degree attainment for adult students, funded a series of research projects that examined what institutions of higher learning could do to reduce barriers for adult students. The study found that college programs, policies and services developed for 18 to 22-year-olds will not work for most adult students.

Because adult students work, have families, have extensive life experiences, and often can only attend school in the evenings or on weekends, they need different types of programs and services. The Lumina study also found that few factors influence adult learners’ success more than planning and counseling for the student.

If you are considering returning to college to complete your degree, be sure to investigate the kinds of support and counseling the school offers. If it does not have a program tailored specifically to adult students, you may want to keep searching.

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commented 2013-12-28 03:22:29 -0500 · Flag
Thank you