College Is Just the Beginning: Employer’s Role in the $1.1 Trillion Postsecondary Education and Training System analyzes how much employers spend on training, what they spend their training dollars on, and how spending on formal employer-provided training varies by age, educational attainment, and industry sector.

Key Findings


Each year, the United States spends $1.1 trillion on postsecondary education and training.


Formal postsecondary education and training accounts for $650 million in annual spending.


Colleges and employers account for the two largest shares of spending on formal training: colleges and universities spend $407 billion annually, while employers spend $177 billion annually.


Employers also spend $413 billion on informal on-the-job training.

Full Report

College Is Just the Beginning: Employers’ Role in $1.1 Trillion Postsecondary Education and Training System focuses on employer investment in formal training for workers in the context of the broader postsecondary education and training system and the primary institutions involved in skill development in the United States. Along with colleges and universities, employers are the main providers of formal training in the United States. In this brief report, we analyze how much employers spend on formal training, what they spend formal training dollars on, and how spending on formal training varies by workers’ educational attainment, age, and industry sector.

Training