By Alexandra Forter Sirota
- By 2018, 53 percent of North Carolina jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, yet just 38.5 percent of the adult working-age population (aged 25 to 54) in North Carolina has an associate’s degree or higher.
- In the 2011 legislative session, a bill entitled No Adult Left Behind set as a target for North Carolina to increase the percentage of North Carolinians who earn associate degrees, other two year credentials, and baccalaureate degrees to 40 percent. This would require that an additional 58,000 working-age North Carolinians attain degrees or long-term credentials.
- Credentials, or sub-baccalaureate certificates, can help close the state’s skills gap while providing a boost to worker’s income. But for the last year data is available, 2007-2008, North Carolina produced just 6,789 are credentials requiring more than one year of study.
- A greater focus on measuring credentials and aligning those programs of study with growth industries and occupational requirements can go a long way to supporting higher earnings for workers and improved economic outcomes.