Twenty-two percent of Florida’s adult population have completed some college credit without earning a degree

Tampa, FL- Increasing Florida’s economic competitiveness will require adult residents who have completed some college to return to college soon to finish according to a report released today by a statewide higher education network. According to the policy brief by ENLACE Florida, 2 million Florida residents have completed some college without earning a degree—representing nearly 22 percent of the state’s adult population. “If only a small segment of this group returned to college to complete either a two- or four-year degree, it would go a long way to helping Florida meet future workforce demand,” said Braulio Colón, Interim Director for ENLACE Florida. Economists throughout the country agree that more and more new jobs will require a college degree. A recent analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce concluded that 59 percent of Florida’s jobs will require postsecondary education by 2018. “We have a talented workforce but the metrics the world uses to assess readiness is degrees and, as this study shows, there is an easy way for us to raise our ranking in the business world’s eyes,” said Tony Carvajal, Director of Statewide Policy Coordination at the Collins Center for Public Policy. “We should find a way to help those that have started on their journey to an advanced degree reach their goal,” said Carvajal. The new report also provides a breakdown of Florida’s college attainment data disaggregating it by county and by population group. “A college-level degree is essential for securing today’s high-wage, high-skill jobs, and often means the difference between a life of opportunity and a life of hardship,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Dr. Eric J. Smith. “We must do everything we can to help more Floridians acquire the knowledge that is required for Florida’s economic health as well as the very real benefits to their families and communities. As this report illustrates, support for minority populations, including those in rural communities, will be critical for attainment of the “Big Goal”.”

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