Survey: U.S. Adults Want More Education – OR Has Options
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Nearly half of Americans say they need more education to advance in their careers, according to recent research.
The Strada Education Network and Gallup survey found 46% of adults without a degree, or not currently enrolled in college, said additional education is needed to get ahead.
Julia Steinberger, director of office of workforce investments for the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, explained the findings.
"Particularly as we see shortages in qualified candidates for some of these good-paying, competitive jobs," Steinberger pointed out. "I think folks just see the opportunity and know that they need that education and training in order to capitalize on those opportunities."
While a more traditional college route if available, Steinberger noted Oregon has made investments to ensure apprenticeships are widely available. She added the state is working with businesses to create training from employers through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Steinberger stressed going back to college can cost more for adult learners, who are likely to have more responsibilities than a student coming out of high school.
"The potential lost opportunity costs of wages if you're stepping out of the workforce, costs for health care, child care, transportation, housing, etc.," Steinberger outlined.
This year, the Oregon Legislature approved a $200 million education package known as Future Ready Oregon. Steinberger stated it includes a training program from community colleges, which helps people enter the education system and exit easily to find a job.
"It's really designed to be a set of stackable credentials that will ultimately lead to a degree but allows folks to sort of get on and off the road whenever they're able to," Steinberger emphasized.
The Future Ready Oregon package includes an array of programs, including workforce training grants and supports for apprenticeships in the state.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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