Back to School: Adults and Higher Education

Millions of workers are returning to college or graduate school to further their educations and seek additional training, due in part to recession trends in U.S. economy. The number of adults age 30 and over enrolled in some form of higher education is currently 5.5 million, a 322% increase from 1970. Expert projections predict over 6.1 million adults age 30+ will be enrolled in 2019. Persons age 55 and over account for 350,000 students in colleges and universities.

Although the number of people seeking advanced degrees is expected to see the largest increase among all educational pursuits by 2020, some degrees will be more valuable than others in the long run. The estimated percentage of increase in employment by educational category between 2010 and 2020 is the highest for those students who have completed a Master’s degree (22%) and lowest for students who have completed a High school diploma or equivalent (12%). The overall number of new jobs forecast to be created between 2010 and 2020 for specific educational categories suggests the most new jobs will require a High school diploma or equivalent (7,576,000), and the least required category will be  for persons with “Some college, no degree” (142,000).

While the most jobs may require at least a High school diploma, students who pursue higher educational degrees retain greater potential to see return on their investments, On average, adults who have a job while enrolled in college see a 22% return on tuition dollars. An average of 12% return is reported for traditional students. Nearly 85% of employers offer some form of tuition reimbursement programs. Created by

 Back to School: Adults and Higher Education

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *