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Educational Attainment and Earnings Inequality Among US-Born Men - The gap in earnings between more educated and less educated workers has widened over time, but also the gaps are wider among younger men compared with older men, according to this report. Men with a high school diploma or less experienced absolute decreases in annual and cumulative earnings, those with some college experienced stagnated earnings and the largest gains went to those with advanced degrees. The highest-earning quartile of high school graduates out-earns a sizeable share of those some college and four-year degrees. Along with rising tuition, this may explain why college completion rates haven't risen rapidly. (Josh Mitchell, Urban Institute, April 2014) ...

New College Graduates at Work: Employment Among 1992-93, 1999-2000, and 2007-08 Bachelor's Degree Recipients 1 Year After Graduation - This Statistics in Brief examines the employment outcomes of college graduates 1 year after earning a bachelor's degree. Effects of the recession may be seen in employment outcomes of college graduates one year after earning a bachelor’s degree in 1992, 2000 and 2008. Unemployment rates of 2008 grads were higher than for those who attained degrees in 2000. (National Center for Education Statistics, Sandra Staklis and Paul Skomsvold, March 2014)...

The Rising Cost of Not Going to College - The cost of not going to college is going up, say the authors of this report. There’s a wider earnings gap between college-educated and less-educated millennials compared with previous generations. College majors matter. Science and engineering grads are most likely to say their current job is closely related to their field of study and least likely to say that a different major would have better prepared them for the job they wanted. (Paul Taylor, Rick Fry and Russ Oates, Pew Research Center, February 2014)...

Higher Education Earnings Premium: Value, Variation, and Trends - While much has been written about the earnings gap between those who have only a high school diploma compared to those who have a four-year degree, this brief explores variations among individuals, types of credentials, occupations and geographical locations. It emphasizes the advantage of degrees beyond high school, but recognizes not all outcomes are advantageous. Also, to focus on recent college grads may lead to an underestimation of the returns. (Sandy Baum, Urban Institute, February 2014)...

Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges Executive Summary - In 2012, the net total impact of community colleges on the U.S. economy was $809 billion in added income, equal to 5.4 percent of GDP. Over time, the U.S. economy will see greater economic benefits, including $285.7 billion dollars in increased tax revenue as students earn higher wages and $19.2 billion in taxpayer savings as students require fewer safety net services, experience better health, and lower rates of crime. For every one dollar a student spends on his or her community college education, he or she sees an return on investment of $3.80. (American Association of Community Colleges, February 2014)...

Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002): A First Look at 2002 High School Sophomores 10 Years Later - Ten years after they were high school sophomores, 26-year-olds who’d gotten a bachelor’s degree or higher were less likely to have lost a job since January of 2006 (19%) than those with only a high school credential (40%), one of many factoids to be found in a longitudinal study which sheds light on how key markers affected life outcomes. Another: among those who began their postsecondary education within three months of high school completion, 42% had earned a bachelor’s degree and another 11% had earned a master’s degree (or higher) by 2012; of those who began their postsecondary education 13 or more months following high school completion, 6% had earned a bachelor’s degree and another 1% had earned a master’s degree (or higher) by 2012. (Erich Lauff and Steven J. Ingels, National Center for Education Statistics, January 2014)...

How College Shapes Lives: Understanding the Issues - Value of an education has different meanings depending on the eye of the beholder. This report explains ways payoffs can be approached and the reason opinions vary. For example, there are considerable differences in earnings among workers at any one level of education and the differences may be attributable to occupations or geography. Or, conflicting predictions of the future need for more educated workers result from differing definitions and methodologies. Or, especially for students graduating into weak economies, it frequently takes time to find the path that ensures that going to college was worth it. (Sandy Baum, Charles Kurose and Jennifer Ma, College Board, October 2013)...

Higher Education Pays: But a Lot More for Some Graduates Than for Others - A study based on first-year earnings of recent college graduates in five states challenges conventional wisdom. Some short-term credentials, including associate’s degrees and occupational credentials, for example, are worth as much or more than long-term degrees, according to data from Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Further, graduates from flagship universities who go straight into the labor market, on average, do not earn more than graduates from regional campuses. The labor market rewards technical and occupational degree skills, but the value of the S in STEM is overrated. Employers pay more for graduates in technology, engineering, and math than for students who graduated with biology and chemistry degrees. (American Institutes for Research, Mark Schneider, September 2013)...

Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020 - Assuming Congress can resolve budgetary challenges, this study says there will be 55 million job openings through 2020-24 million newly created, 31 million due to retiring baby boomers. About 65% of those jobs will require some postsecondary education and-at currents rates of production- the United States will fall short of workers with postsecondary education by 5 million. (Anthony Carnevale, Nicole Smith and Jeff Strohl, June 2013)...

Work Readiness Standards and Benchmarks: The Key to Differentiating America's Workforce and Regaining Global Competitiveness - A new release from ACT ventures into territory that is largely uncharted--postsecondary work readiness standards and benchmarks. While many now have a grip on what college readiness looks like, comparable standards for work readiness–the skills involved in workplace success–are less well understood. According to the author, work readiness skills are foundational and occupation specific, vary in importance and level for different occupations, and depend on the critical tasks identified via a job analysis or an occupational profile. For examples, skills required for accountants and welders are profiled. (Hope Clark, ACT, May 2013)...

Degrees of Value: Evaluating the Return on the College Investment - As tuition goes up, the long unquestioned value of a college degree is being questioned. Factors to consider include the overall cost, the fact that rates of return vary widely (one cannot depend on the average)and that rates not only vary with the college, but by major. Authors look at new ways for students to measure tuition cost against other variables such as College Scoreboard, state databases, U.S. News, and College Reality Check-and call for the postsecondary system to give better information on the value of a college education. (Andrew Gillen et al, Education Sector, May 2013)...

Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings - Though the authors conclude a college degree still pays, they add that not all degrees are equal. Here are some factoids: Recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or better still bear the greatest risk with unemployment rates ranging from 4.8 percent to a high of 14.7 percent. Nurses and elementary education majors have lowest unemployment rates at 4.8% and 5.0% respectively; architecture and information systems majors have the highest at 12.8% and 14.7%. Unemployment rates decrease as recent college graduates gain experience and graduate education. (Anthony P. Carnevale, Ban Cheah and Jeff Strohl, Center on Education and the Workforce, May 2013)...

Higher Education Pays: The Initial Earnings of Graduates of Texas Colleges and Universities Who Are Working in Texas - Talk about a game changer. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with CollegeMeasures gathered and disseminated research on first-year salaries of graduates of its two- and four-year institutions who are working in Texas with a diploma or certificate. Among their findings: students with two-year technical degrees have first-year salaries of more than $50,000–$11,000 more than graduates of bachelor degree programs, $30,000 more than students with two-year academic degrees. Meeting immediate workforce need, technical certificate holders’ first-year earnings can exceed those who hold academic and technical associate’s degrees. (Mark Schneider, College Measures, April 2013)...

Reading and Maths Skills at Age 10 and Earnings Later in Life: A Brief Analysis Using the British Cohort Study - Could Math Skills at 10 Affect Earnings as an Adult? Yes, say researchers from the University of London. In “Reading and Maths Skills at Age 10 and Earnings Later in Life: A Brief Analysis Using the British Cohort Study,” 10-year-olds with one standard deviation increase in reading won a 4.4% to 4.8% increase in earnings during their thirties. A one standard deviation increase in math scores translated to a 10.2% to 10.8 increase in earnings. The authors suggest the gap may be due to employers who value math skills more than reading skills. (Claire Crawford and Jonathan Cribb, Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions, March 2013)...

Does Schooling Improve Cognitive Functioning at Older Ages? - To study the relationship between education and cognitive functioning, the authors used data from six European countries which instituted school reform in the 1950s and 1960s as well as data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe. They found a positive impact of schooling on memory - one year of education increased the delayed memory score by about 0.3, or 16% of the standard deviation. Further, for women, more education reduced the risk of dementia. (Nicole Schneeweis, Vegard Skirbekk, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, November 2012)...

A Dozen Economic Facts About K-12 Education - Education is a powerful force for promoting opportunity and growth. On many dimensions—lifetime earnings, incarceration rates, and life expectancy, to name a few—Americans who do not graduate from high school or college are increasingly falling behind those with a college degree. This paper explores both the condition of education in the United States and the economic evidence on several promising K-12 interventions that could improve the lives of Americans. (The Hamilton Project, September 2012)...

National Foundation Skills Strategy For Adults - In November 2011, Australia's COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) agreed to a National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults. The Strategy brings a national focus to improving education and employment outcomes for working age Australians with low levels of foundation skills (language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills). The Strategy is centered on the needs of the adult learner and includes four key priority areas for action, with agreed actions for each at the national, jurisdictional and systemic level. (SCOTESE, September 2012)...

One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas - This brief ranks the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas as well as the nation’s largest racial and ethnic groups in terms of youth disconnection (neither working nor in school). The report concludes with a set of recommendations for preventing youth disconnection, including moving beyond the “college-for-all” mantra to provide meaningful support and guidance both to young people aiming for a four-year bachelor’s degree and to those whose interests and career aspirations would be better served by relevant, high-quality career and technical education certificates and associate’s degrees. (Measure of America, September 2012)...

Trends Among Young Adults Over Three Decades, 1974-2006 - This report describes patterns of continuity and change over time in four areas of the transition to adulthood among young adults as measured 2 years after their senior year of high school. The four areas are postsecondary enrollment, labor force roles, family formation, and civic engagement. The analysis population is spring-term high school seniors in 1972, 1980, 1992, and 2004. The data come from four separate NCES sponsored studies: the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS:72), High School and Beyond (HS&B), the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88), and the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002). (NCES, July 2012)...

College and Careers Tables Library - This site provides data on a range of issues related to college and career readiness, including but not limited to, student financial aid and employment, degrees and certificates awarded, and graduation and completion rates. (National Center for Education Statistics)...

The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Students' Outcomes in Adulthood - In exploring if teachers’ impacts on students’ test scores (“value-added”) are a good measure of their quality, the authors question whether value-added (VA) provides unbiased estimates of teachers’ impacts on student achievement and whether high-VA teachers improve students’ long-term outcomes. They address these two issues by analyzing school district data from grades 3-8 for 2.5 million children. (Chetty, Friedman, and Rockoff, 2011)...

The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings - A college degree pays off--but by just how much? In this report, the authors examine not just what a college degree is worth but also what else besides a degree might influence an individual's potential earnings. The report examines lifetime earnings for all education levels and earnings by occupation, age, race/ethnicity and gender. Clearly, a college degree is key to economic opportunity, adding substantially higher earnings on those with credentials than those without. An executive summary is also available. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, August 2011)...

2008-09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B: 08/09): First Look - This report describes the enrollment and employment experiences of a national sample of college graduates a year after their 2007-08 graduation. (NCES 2011)...

One Degree of Separation: How Young Americans Who Don't Finish College See Their Changes for Success - This report presents findings from a national random sample survey of more than 600 young Americans asking for their views on jobs, college and their own economic prospects. (Public Agenda, June 2011)...

The Undereducated American - Following analyses of wage data for the past thirty years, this report confirms that policies that promote access to postsecondary education and encourage completion of college are essential for our economic future. Moreover, the undersupply of college-educated workers has led to the dramatic rise in income inequality over the last thirty years. (Anthony Carnevale and Stephen Rose, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2011)...

Select Findings From "What's It Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors" - This report analyzes the correlation between undergraduate major and earnings after graduation. Students graduating in the fields of engineering, computers, math and business were found to earn the highest salaries, with education, psychology and social work representing fields with the lowest earnings potential. Click here for the full report. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, May 2011) ...

Is College Worth It? College Presidents, Public Assess Value, Quality and Mission of Higher Education - Findings indicate that the majority of Americans feel the higher education system fails to provide good value for the money students and their families spend. Additionally, about four-in-ten college presidents say the system is headed in the wrong direction. This report is largely based on findings from two Pew Research Center surveys conducted in the spring of 2011: The general public survey is based on telephone interviews of adults; the college president survey is based on a web survey conducted with college and university presidents.(Pew Research Center, May 2011)...

Who Wins? Who Pays? The Economic Returns and Costs of a Bachelor's Degree - This study examined starting and estimated career-long salaries for bachelor's degree recipients from a range of institutions, including proprietary, public and private nonprofit colleges and universities at varying levels of admissions selectivity. The authors then calculated the net cost or net financial gain to students and to taxpayers. (American Institutes for Research, May 2011)...


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