We can’t underestimate the power of continuing education after high school, says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of The Lumina Foundation, a private foundation committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college. Higher education of some sort not only is an education issue, but an economic one and a globally competitive one, as well.
Watch Merisotis talk more about the importance of post-high school degrees:
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“Our economic future as a country depends on people with higher levels of skills, particularly post-high school education,” Merisotis said. With two-thirds of the jobs created today requiring some form of post-high school education, and only about 38 percent of Americans hold a two or four-year degree. “There’s a significant gap to get to that goal that we have for the workforce,” he said.
People with higher degrees are unemployed at lower levels, earn significantly more income, plus, our global competitors are already educating their citizens at higher levels than the U.S., he said. But there are social and cultural reasons for higher education, as well, such as the need for moral and ethical people who can act globally, and better participation in democracy.
“All of that comes from a post-high school and college education,” Merisotis added.
The Lumina Foundation is the nation’s largest foundation dedicated exclusively to increasing students’ access to and success in postsecondary education. It’s mission is defined by Goal 2025 – to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025.
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