The United States has seen an increase in young adults graduating from high school and college, according to a recent study conducted by The Pew Research Center. More students are attending a higher education institution because of the poor economy of the past few years, an increase in educated immigrants and because young Americans are seeking success.
“57% of Americans over the age of 25 have completed at least some form of education, compared with 22% of adults in 1971,” according to the data.
The U.S. has seen an all-around increase in students attending schools of higher education as well as higher education graduation rates. Researchers thought there would be a decline in students enrolled in a higher education institution because of the increasing cost, according to the study.
“The number has most likely increased because in this generation young adults are entering a more competitive world,” said Karissa Przyhocki, a humanities and social sciences major at County College of Morris. “Without a certain level of education, oftentimes employers aren’t interested in hiring people with a lack of education.”
The Pew Research Center gathered its findings based on several primary reasons. The poor economy has forced young people to return to school because they are having difficulty finding a job. The survey states that people are more inclined to earn a college degree because it will help them obtain a job and achieve success in life.
“Less people may be going into the workforce simply because there is a lack of job opportunities,” Przyhocki said.
Today’s tough economic times can lead to many not having an option other than to go back to school and become more educated.
“When I graduated high school in 1978, I did not feel pressure to go to school, none of my friends were going to school,” said Cindy Levine, a humanities and liberal arts major. “There weren’t any incentives for school because of my lack of caring about grades. My counselors pushed me to take classes geared towards secretarial work.”
Levine mentioned she remembers being encouraged by school counselors to take on skills like typing, book keeping and key punch.
“Because of economic and work related changes in this country,” Levine said, “the only way to make enough money to support yourself, let alone a family, is a job that requires, at minimum, an associate’s degree.”