While labor economists predict that 60% of all jobs by 2025 will require a postsecondary credential, there is a common misconception that a bachelor’s degree is the only pathway to career success.

FCAN’s first webinar of 2018 featured Neil Ridley, director of state initiatives with Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (“the Center”), to talk about the growth of good jobs that have gone to workers with associate’s degrees, postsecondary certificates or industry certifications.

Here are the five biggest takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Education beyond high school matters for getting a good job. What’s a good job?  It’s a job that pays at least $35,000 annually for workers under 45 and at least $45,000 for workers 45 and older.  As research from the Center and their Good Jobs Project shows, the more education you have, the better your chances are at getting a good job (see slide).
  2. It’s hard in today’s economy to get a good job with just a high school diploma. Workers in Florida with a high school diploma make below $28,000 annually, which is below the state average and far below the average wage for workers with higher levels of education and training.  The trend is likely to continue, as labor economists at the Center predict 65% of future jobs will require some postsecondary education in the coming years (see slide).
  3. Not all good jobs require a bachelor’s degree. While it’s true that good jobs favor those who have higher levels of education, not all good jobs require a BA.  Not everyone goes from high school directly to a four-year university, so it pays to know that fields such as health services, finance and retail have good jobs to offer workers with associate’s degree’s, certificates and other credentials as they begin and transition through their career.
  4. Helping students prepare for and begin rewarding careers is a job too big to do alone. To build better linkages between education and the workforce, schools, colleges and employers need to work together to help students connect to good jobs and opportunities to further their education and training.
  5. We need to know more about certificates, certifications and other workforce credentials. Historically, postsecondary “credential” attainment was synonymous with “degree” attainment.  But experts are now taking a different, broader view of credentials to recognize the value that non-degree credentials like certificates, certifications and licenses have in the labor market.  While data on the attainment of these credentials are still somewhat limited, work is being done by the U.S. Census Bureau with help from other federal agencies to provide states with better information on these areas.  See the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) Project to learn more.

Want to check out the webinar for yourself?  Click here to view the slides and recording, and visit www.GoodJobsData.org  for state and national reports on Good Jobs from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.


Visit FCAN’s Past Webinars page
Florida offers third highest number of good jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree

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