Credential Crunch

This brief lays out how California can get to its goal of 5.5 million graduates by 2025 while ensuring that degrees and certificates conferred are meaningful.

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The most secure route to a strong economy is to provide the state with a rich and diverse pool of talented, well-educated citizens.

For California to remain competitive and become a leading degree-producing state by 2025, it will need to produce an additional 2.3 million postsecondary credentials by 2025 and ensure that degrees and certificates conferred are meaningful. This means:

  • Prioritizing credentials that are in short supply (e.g. Registered Nurses), and
  • Designating clear standards for degrees to ensure quality across the state’s institutions.

In 2010, only 38.8 percent of adult Californians (age 25-64) had at least an associate’s degree, placing California 23rd among the states. California must work to regain its footing as a U.S. economic powerhouse. The state must generate more:

  • Bachelor’s degrees
  • Career and technical associate’s degrees
  • Certificates from programs of at least one year in length

The California Workforce Investment Board has found that nine of the top-ten skilled job openings in the coming decade require significant postsecondary training. These jobs demand skills gained in credential programs of less than four years.

To learn more, read The Road Ahead: Higher Education, California’s Promise, and our Future Economy.

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