Yesterday, I was interviewed by Timothy Homan, a reporter from Bloomberg for a story on the Census Bureau’s release of data on higher education attainment. The article, Americans with College Degrees Climb to Record as Hispanics Gain, reported that 30 percent of Americans now have a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, which is a new record. The Census data also highlighted that this milestone was reached in large part because of gains made by Hispanics in educational attainment. The Bloomberg article made the point that this increase in attainment is connected to a fundamental shift toward higher workforce skills – a shift taking place in the U.S. and other advanced economies.
My quote in the article spoke to how this shift is affecting individuals: “People are getting the information they need to understand that they really need post-secondary education to have a viable middle-class life. Jobs that give them any realistic shot at economic security come from education beyond high school.”
The Census data shows once again that people with higher levels of education make more than those without, but also pointed out the growing relationship between education and employment. In this economy, that’s probably even more important.
The Census data is worth checking out, but a more complete picture will emerge from Lumina’s new report A Stronger Nation Through Higher Education, which will be released on March 27. That report includes higher education attainment rates for every state and county in the U.S., along with the top 100 metro regions. A Stronger Nation also describes higher education attainment in the context of current economic trends, and shows how the U.S. can move more aggressively to increase it to the levels the nation needs.