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The Center on Education and the Workforce analyzes the link between education, career preparation, and workplace demands. Visit our LinkedIn page to see further commentary and blogs on related topics.

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Can Women Close the Wage Gap through Educational Gains?

Women have made extraordinary strides in closing the gender wage gap. Education is their primary strategy for gaining access to the labor force and achieving economic prosperity. Since 1975, the gender wage gap has narrowed by 24 cents, and women’s participation in college has nearly doubled. The analysis suggests that the wage gap is 7 percent smaller than it would be…

Our higher education system is split into unequal tracks divided by race: here’s why.

The promise of American higher education is to promote human flourishing and equal opportunities to students of all backgrounds. But what we see in today’s colleges is a far cry from a united path to prosperity—it’s a chasm demarcated by race. So, how did that promise become racially separate and unequal tracks? Beginning in the 1990s, Whites fled the underfunded…

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August 21, 2018 in Blog

Thinking about college? Pay attention to these 5 rules

Now more than ever, postsecondary education is a key pathway to economic independence. Before the 1980s, two-thirds of jobs required a high school education or less. Now, the same share of jobs requires at least some college. But just as postsecondary education has become more valuable, it has also become more expensive. At four-year public colleges and universities, tuition and…
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April 12, 2018 in Blog

Every year, half a million top-scoring students never get a college credential

Every year, 500,000 students graduate in the top half of their high school class, yet never get a college credential—not even a certificate. To put this into perspective, that’s five million lost youth every decade. These students have the skills to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. They would even have a higher than 80 percent chance of graduating from the…
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October 11, 2017 in Blog

Latinos: Moving Forward toward a Promising Future

As we near the end of Hispanic Heritage month, we’re reflecting on Latinos’ contributions to American culture and the economy. Latinos have made significant strides in educational attainment and workforce participation. Their high school graduation rates are up and growing and their postsecondary attainment rate has increased from 35 to 45 percent since 1992. But, compared to their White and Black…
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September 20, 2017 in Blog

Nursing: an oasis of opportunity

The healthcare industry remains a growing source of opportunity for workers, and nursing in particular has remained especially viable amidst structural change in the economy.
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August 17, 2017 in Blog

Top five growing industries for those without a bachelor’s degree

It’s easy to get the impression these days that it’s close to impossible to find a good job without a bachelor’s degree, but this is not the full story.
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July 11, 2017 in Blog

Trumping toward college transparency

The perfect storm is gathering around the need to increase transparency around college and careers. And in accordance with how public policy generally comes about, it might just happen.  
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June 15, 2017 in Blog

Open information about college options and outcomes would help avoid buyer’s remorse

Whether it’s a used car that turned out to be a lemon or exercise equipment now gathering dust, we have all suffered buyer’s remorse. The inaugural Education Consumer Pulse survey from Strada Education Network and Gallup shows that the same kind of regret extends to college.
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June 1, 2017 in Blog

Hats off to the Class of 2017. Let the Job Hunt Begin

Congratulations to the Class of 2017. Earning a Bachelor’s degree is a great step towards building a promising future. But will this year’s graduates (nearly 1.9 million) gain a foothold in today’s job market? The good news is the economy is much stronger than it has been in recent years.
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May 9, 2017 in Blog

Debunking the Five Myths Behind the Pell Grant

While college enrollment continues to climb, it has grown the least for low-income students. The Pell Grant was created to open the door to college for low-income students, but we find that qualified Pell Grant recipients are being denied the opportunity of an elite college education. Some argue these students are not qualified or that the institution can’t afford to…
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February 28, 2017 in Blog

Exploring education and employment gains among African Americans

Black History Month is an important time to reflect on the achievements of African Americans, and celebrate their profound presence in the fabric of American society. From our area of expertise, we have observed many positive trends in the education and labor market outcomes for African Americans throughout the past two decades.
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January 11, 2017 in Blog

Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Could Yield 11 Million Jobs

It is not surprising that President-elect Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in spending on infrastructure is certain to have positive employment effects in keeping with standard Keynesian theory. But, here’s the potential downside: the additional spending, in combination with tax cuts and other economic policy shifts proposed by the President-elect, could generate inflation and set the stage for further interest rate…
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December 8, 2016 in Blog

American higher education is far more effective at helping white students achieve their potential than black and Latino students

Since the 1990s, the number of black and Latino high school graduates who enroll in college has more than doubled. But three-quarters of that increase has been at underfunded, overcrowded open-access colleges. Meanwhile, white college enrollment has increased only at the nation’s top 500 universities. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, I argue that these inequities in higher education…
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November 16, 2016 in Blog

The Return of “Middle-skills” Jobs

I published an op-ed with The Hechinger Report in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to bring manufacturing jobs back. It is human nature to be nostalgic for times gone by. For many, the days when a high school education was a gateway to middle-class earnings was a brighter, simpler time. But, as the op-ed argues, traditional manufacturing production jobs…
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October 27, 2016 in Blog

Transparency should be part of the higher ed bargain

When the federal government forced for-profit ITT Technical Institute to shutter its operations in September due, in part, to its misleading recruitment information, it sent a strong message to other similar institutions. And it’s not just for-profit schools that market themselves by boasting about their graduation rates and job-placement numbers. So, too, do some not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities to…
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October 13, 2016 in Blog

Reflecting on Hispanic/Latino education and career opportunities

The number of Hispanic/Latinos in the US has surged over the last four decades. The contributions of Hispanics/Latinos to society are numerous, and their dynamic culture is one we celebrate beyond Hispanic Heritage Month. Over the next 10 years, there will be 55 million job openings in the US. Ten million of those will be new jobs, and 46 million…
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September 2, 2016 in Blog

Measuring the impact on enrollment of Clinton’s free college plan

The idea of free college tuition has gotten a lot of wind behind it in this election cycle, backed first by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and now embraced by that party’s nominee Hillary Clinton. The idea is intrinsically appealing. Many young people dismiss the thought of going to college based on the price tag alone. That decision may rob them…
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June 21, 2016 in Blog

America’s workforce makeover: college grads’ gain is high school grads’ pain

For the first time, four-year college graduates and those with graduate and professional degrees make up a larger share of the workforce (36%) than workers with a high school diploma or less (34%). This reflects an ongoing trend in our economy where the next job created most likely will require someone with postsecondary education. This trend seems to have accelerated…
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