The increasingly global economy and complex world have changed the demands on the U.S. education system. Unlike in the first half of the twentieth century, a high school diploma is no longer sufficient to secure a good-paying job. In today’s knowledge-based economy, all students, no matter their background or career aspirations, need some form of postsecondary education.
Today, approximately 60 percent of all jobs—compared to 28 percent in 1973—require some form of postsecondary education, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. That percentage is only getting larger and is projected to reach 65 percent by 2020. At the other end of the education spectrum, the percentage of jobs requiring a high school diploma or less will continue to shrink. In 1973, 72 percent of jobs were open to high school graduates; by 2020, that percentage is expected to fall to just 36 percent.
Ensuring that students are prepared for today’s global job market means providing them with a quality K-12 education that provides them with the deep content knowledge they need to succeed after high school and the critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills that today’s jobs demand.
A high school diploma was once seen as the finish line. Today, a high school diploma must be the jumping-off point—the ticket to the additional education students need to compete for and land good-paying jobs.
HELP WANTED: New Report Finds Nearly Two Thirds of All Job Openings Will Require Postsecondary Education by 2018
About 63 percent of the 46.8 million job openings created by 2018 will require workers with at least some college education, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.