The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) releases an annual report detailing factors such as graduation rates, drop-out rates, and test scores. In the most recent report, NCES highlighted the impact of higher education on employment rates.
The current report, called “The Condition of Education 2013,” makes it clear that those with higher levels of education have more employment opportunities, even in an economy with somewhat sluggish job growth.
The most important finding in the report is that college graduates have an 86 percent employment rate whereas college drop-outs have a 48 percent employment rate.
The statistics make it quite clear that the more education one has, the better her chances are of finding a job.
Consider these employment rates for various levels of education:
- Those who did not complete high school: 48 percent
- High school graduates: 64 percent
- Those with some college experience: 74 percent
- Those who earn bachelor’s degrees: 86 percent
The report does not examine the effects of graduate school on employment rates.
“The Condition of Education 2013” looks at 42 indicators that also influence one’s employment opportunities. Achieving a higher level of education always improves one’s chances of finding a job, but there are other factors involved, including age, sex, and year (the report compares employment rates from 1990 to 2012).
The report shows that employment rates for men, regardless of education level, reached a low between 2010 and 2011. 2012 shows a significant improvement for men at all education levels except for those who did not complete high school, which remains flat from the previous year.
The rates aren’t quite as promising for women. Fewer women with bachelor’s degrees have jobs than men with the same level of education. Plus, they’ve experienced a continuous decline. In 1990, the employment rate for women with bachelor’s degrees was about 80 percent. By 2012, that rate had fallen into the upper 70s.