Education Beyond High School: Increasingly Essential

Teens in graduation caps and gownsFor teens, deciding what to do after high school is a big deal. In the past, most people could get good jobs with high school degrees or less. In today’s economy, having a degree from a college or technical school is becoming more important. For example:

  • Nineteen of the 30 fastest-growing jobs require a degree from a college or technical school.1
  • The earnings gap between people with a college degree and a high school degree is much greater than it was 20 years ago.2
  • Young adults who just graduated from high school are more likely to live in poverty and be unemployed.2
  • Even with the high cost of college, graduates say a degree is worth the cost and will pay off.2

Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to reflect on the power of creating and working toward future goals.
  • Find out about focusing on goals in the face of personal challenges and social injustices.

Research Sources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor (2013). Employment projections—2012-2022.

2. Pew Research Center (2014). The rising cost of not going to college. Washington, DC: Author. Accessed from