Jobs & College Degrees

Yes, some form of postsecondary education is important in today’s world and today’s economy. But as many continue to question the value of earning a four-year degree, it is equally important to understand the jobs that may be available to today’s – and tomorrow’s – high school graduates.

Over at Marketwatch, reporter Jillian Berman recently explored the 30 million or so jobs that are available without a four-year college degree. Berman found these jobs pay on average of $55,000 a year. And some of them may be surprising. Researchers are finding growth in areas such as:

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Spotlighting Students’ Readiness for #STEM

With more and more high schools emphasizing the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education for all of their students, an important issue has been raised. How does one effectively recognize those students who are excelling in STEM?

In Colorado and elsewhere, that question has been answered with an effort to add a STEM designation to high school diplomas. There, teachers came together to help better recognize those students who were meeting state benchmarks when it came to workforce readiness in technology and computing. So STEM seals were born.

But the idea comes with some controversy. As Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week recently reported:

STEM endorsements are still so new overall that there are few insights on how they will play out on the ground for students—and whether the new credentials will come to signify anything of value to employers or colleges.

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Community College and You!

We often think we “know” all about community colleges and two-year postsecondary institutions. But how much of what we know is truly supported by the facts?

Recently, the American Association of Community Colleges released a series of “fast facts” about community colleges today. And some of the data points may surprise you, including:

  • Community college students are getting younger, with more than half of all community college students now under the age of 21
  • Community colleges are currently serving a smaller portion of undergraduate students than in previous years
  • Two-thirds of all community college students rely on Pell grants to afford their postsecondary educations
  • Annual tuition and fees at community colleges only increased, on average, $90 in the past year
  • More than a third of all students enrolled at community colleges are the first in their families to seek a postsecondary education Read more