You Need to Know these Numbers: 1:2:7

There is a mismatch between our educational systems and our workforce needs. It isn’t that American schools or colleges are failing, rather it’s the persistent “college for all” rhetoric, which has become a “four-year university for all” message, which is the culprit. Kevin Fleming explores this concept in his video, Success in the New Economy. The devastation of this rigid focus can be seen in the 5.5 million young adults who are neither employed nor pursuing higher education. These young people have fallen through the cracks, failing to find success in either a career or college. Many of those young adults started college programs, only to drop out with no idea of what to do next. The National Student Clearinghouse reported in 2016 that only half of all students who enroll in college complete their program within six years .

1 master’s job: 2 bachelor’s jobs: 7 AA or certificate jobs

Pursuing post-secondary education is important and necessary for all students, but the idea that a four-year educational path is for everyone is coming under suspicion. A look at our workforce needs quickly highlights this. For every 1 job in our economy that requires the worker to have a master’s level college education, there are 2 jobs that require only a bachelor’s level education and 7 jobs (that’s right 7 jobs!) that require a 1-year certificate or 2-year college degree. This 1:2:7 formula hasn’t changed in years.

College must match individual skills and interests

Our educational systems, our media, even parents have long pushed students toward 4-year college degrees, believing that more education automatically equals higher wages. On average this belief seems true, until you look at the numbers more closely. Then it becomes clear that an individual’s skills are as important as the degree. Those with skills that match their job earn more money, which is why 25% of associate degree holders earn more than 50% of all bachelor degree holders.

Watch this video to learn more

This mismatch between the educational system and expectations for youth and the job market is highlighted in the video, Success in the New Economy, developed by Kevin Fleming, PhD, a passionate advocate for ensuring all students enter the labor market with a competitive advantage, and promoted by Futurebuilt, a division of California Community Colleges.