Business And Higher Education Partner To Boost The U.S. Economy

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, October 7, 2011

By 2018, 63 percent of all of US jobs will require some form of postsecondary education or training, according to estimates by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But the United States is only on track to deliver a fraction of this education. Currently, only 38 percent of America’s young adults have a college degree, compared to 58 percent in South Korea.

In fact, the current generation of college-age Americans is on its way to being less educated than their parents – a shameful first in America’s history.

With college tuition costs rising at double the rate of health-care costs, and a dearth of skilled workers, American businesses are increasingly worried about having enough educated employees to power their companies – and fuel economic recovery. Many businesses are beginning to understand the economic and competitive imperative to reverse these trends. They know higher education needs their help – and that they need better-educated workers.

In fact, if the US could better match skills with today’s jobs, unemployment would be at 6.5 percent instead of 9.1 percent, according to estimates from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. In that light, some companies have begun to partner with colleges to meet a mutual demand.

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