School & District Management

Economy Needs College-Educated Workers, Report Says

By Catherine Gewertz — June 27, 2011 1 min read
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Unless you’ve been in a permanent nap state, you know that college- and career-readiness are the new mantras of the edu-world. And while there is not exactly total agreement on what “career readiness” means, there is a growing body of research that tells us that a yawning gap exists between the demand for college-educated workers and the supply.

Into that pot of research we can add a new study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “The Undereducated American” concludes that we’ve been hampering the economy by underproducing college-educated workers for the last three decades. If we are going to give the economy the boost it needs (which this report takes as a $500 billion jolt to the gross domestic product and inject $100 billion more in tax revenues), we have to kick in another 20 million people with postsecondary credentials or higher by 2025.

The way Georgetown figures it, that output should tilt toward university-educated folks: 15 million of those new workers should have bachelor’s degrees, 4 million should have “nondegree postsecondary credentials,” and 1 million should have associate degrees.

Adding college-educated people into the workforce will also address a growing wage inequality, the report says.

The researchers at Georgetown have done a string of inquiries into what the labor market requires of the education system. Their most recent, before today’s report, ranked various college majors by their income-producing power. You can see that here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.