The trouble with good advice is that it’s often not good enough. That is the case with higher education. Yes, getting a college degree or other high-quality credential pays off very well—a college degree is worth $2.8 million in lifetime earnings, for example.

And the certainty of the payoff is increasing: A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2031, 72 percent of U.S. jobs will require education or training beyond high school. Fast-growing fields require college-level knowledge and skills, the report shows, and we need many more people with high-quality credentials to fill millions of new jobs.

So, the best advice for next spring’s high school graduates—and others contemplating their job prospects—is to get all the education they can. That’s good advice, but it’s insufficient. People planning their futures need to read past the headlines. Armed with the best information available, they must carefully consider their interests and options.

Take that new Georgetown report: Analyzing major industry groups, the authors identified the two fields that will add the most new jobs in the next eight years.

“Health care services and professional and business services will grow so quickly that most annual job openings will be for completely new positions,” the researchers said.

Health care is no surprise, given the growing ranks of aging Baby Boomers and the rapid advance of health technology.

“Between 2021 and 2031, employment in this industry is expected to increase by 20 percent, or more than 4.2 million net new jobs,” the researchers said. “This is far greater than any other industry.”

As always, students should use their critical thinking skills to look beyond the top-line numbers. It would be a mistake, for example, to conclude that a healthcare degree or certificate is the only way to go. Wise choices require thoughtful research—and there’s a wealth of information available to smart education shoppers, including the Georgetown CEW report, “The Economic Value of College Majors.”

The federal government’s College Scorecard can help, too. It allows prospective students to compare schools by their programs, cost, and other factors—critical information when trying to determine how quickly an investment in education will pay for itself.

Still, more help in understanding costs and benefits comes from the Tuition Tracker, a data tool produced by The Hechinger Report. It shows the relationship between a college’s published tuition and the actual costs of attending.

Details matter. Smart shoppers wouldn’t dream of buying a car or other big-ticket item without looking closely at what they’re getting—gas mileage, safety, reliability. Education should be no exception.

But some today are getting the wrong message—the wrong advice, as it were, from those who misunderstand or misrepresent the importance of learning. There’s a rising tide of skepticism about education beyond high school, and it has serious consequences. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only 62 percent of recent high school graduates had enrolled in college as of last year, down 4 points from the rate three years earlier.

“We’ve seen waves of this in the past, but the growing doubt about the value of a college degree is alarming,” said Anthony Carnevale, CEW’s director. Carnevale, lead author of the new report, points to the growth of infrastructure jobs—and to politicians of all stripes who say people don’t need degrees.

“You get a generation of young people who think college isn’t necessary,” he said.

That skepticism could prove costly: We know that some lower-skill jobs look attractive while there’s a national talent shortage. But good-paying jobs—those that offer family-sustaining wages and opportunities for advancement—increasingly require college-level credentials. Workers who ignore this reality will increasingly find themselves stuck in low-paid positions.

It’s as true in education as anywhere else: Even good advice has limits. And bad advice, when it affects a person’s economic future, can be crippling.

This article was originally published in Forbes.

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