For years, stakeholders have sought to define what, exactly, Americans value from their education. Many have focused on wages, in part due to studies demonstrating that college graduates earn more over a lifetime than their non-graduate peers. But the answer might not be related to wages at all.

Instead, people say they see more value in their education when their courses strongly relate to their work, and when they have high-quality, applied-learning experiences and top-notch career and academic advising opportunities.

Related content: 14 things faculty say about higher ed today

The Strada Education Network partnered with Gallup to ask more than 340,000 people about their postsecondary educational and professional experiences. In doing so, the groups hoped to create an actionable dataset for educators, policymakers, and employers.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura