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ERIC Number: ED537121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Future of the U.S. Workforce: The Limited Career Prospects for High School Graduates without Additional Education and Training
Achieve, Inc.
The U.S. economy has undergone dramatic changes in recent decades. Jobs that required limited skills--but still paid a family-supporting wage--have disappeared and increasingly have been replaced with jobs that either require higher levels of education and skills "or" require little education and training but offer no pathways to careers (e.g., no advancement or benefits). Simply put, increasingly sophisticated technology, changes in the structure of the economy and the growing global marketplace have put a premium on educated and skilled workers. The reality is that high school graduates without additional education and training face mostly dim and dead-end career prospects. And those prospects are far dimmer for those who fail to finish high school. There is no question that middle skills jobs are important to help ensure future U.S. competitiveness and offer individuals a path to middle class wages and upward mobility. Yet with all of the attention on high and middle skills jobs, the question remains: "What are the career prospects for individuals with only a high school diploma or less?" Or put another way, is education beyond high school really necessary to ensure a middle class lifestyle, a good living wage and career advancement opportunities? Achieve commissioned original research to explore this question and found that the answer is a resounding "yes." Students with a high school diploma (or less) and no additional education and training are by and large eligible only for "low skills" jobs, which offer limited career and earning prospects over a lifetime. (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables, and 8 endnotes.)
Achieve, Inc. 1775 Eye Street NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-419-1540; Fax: 202-828-0911; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; GE Foundation
Authoring Institution: Achieve, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: United States