In the midst of the growing conversation about the ROI of a college degree, a new report from Multiverse reveals that parental expectations push students to attend college, even though 50 percent of young adults believe a college degree isn’t worth the cost.
The report challenges the notion that only one education pathway–a degree–can lead to high-paying and high-growth careers. Among other compelling data points, the survey revealed that while 48 percent of adults say they were expected to attend college, 76 percent would skip college if their dream job was attainable post-high school.
The new report, Professional Apprenticeships: Defining a New Way to Train and Hire for Today’s Employers, which published in celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, surveyed adults at the start of their careers (ages 18-26) in order to establish a holistic understanding of America’s learning choices, workforce preparedness, perceived impact of a degree, and awareness of apprenticeships.
“While the majority of American adults still see a degree as necessary, they know it’s not sufficient to prepare them for a great career. Given rising costs and a growing conversation about the return on investment the average student experiences, it’s essential we update our assumptions about education to include a wider range of pathways for young people,” said Sophie Ruddock, VP and GM of Multiverse. “There needs to be alternative career paths that prepare people for work without the debt while meeting the ever evolving needs of employers. In a world where the status quo is a college education, our research shows that young adults are hungry for real world experience that will better equip them for thriving careers in today’s most in-demand skills.”
Young Adults Crave Real Workforce Training as Part of their Education
The survey found that college attendees are often left wanting when it comes to preparing for the workforce and wish to have more workforce experience and opportunities for applied learning as part of their college education. Sixty-six percent of degreed young adults believe that real workforce training is the most crucial element to preparing for a successful career. At the same time, this same group listed “having a clear idea of what a job is like,” “real workforce training” and “quality time with industry professionals” as the top three elements missing from a college education. And, nearly half of those with a degree (49 percent) say higher-ed disregards at least some of the key skills needed for today’s workforce.
Societal Expectations to Attend College
The report upholds that there is a widespread belief that post-high school success is determined by a college degree. Young adults revealed they are often influenced to attend college by parents and other family members, friends, teachers, and counselors. Nearly 8 in 10 students currently enrolled in either two- or four-year programs admit that their parents influenced their decision to attend college.
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