With a number of high-profile initiatives encouraging Idaho youth to earn a college degree, a new report asks an important question: What good is a degree if there are little to no job opportunities?
Idaho's Office of Performance Evaluation has issued its report, Reducing Barriers to Postsecondary Education, which concludes that the number of Idahoans with college degrees is increasing faster than the number of jobs that require one. According to the Idaho Department of Labor, using data from 2002 to 2008, jobs in idaho requiring postsecondary education grew from 29 percent to 29.9 percent. The report also projects that by 2018, it will only grow by a fraction - to 30.6 percent. But compare that to a State Board of Education goal that calls for 60 percent of Idahoans between ages 25 and 34 to have a college degree or certificate by the year 2020.
The report recommends that the State Board of Education coordinate with the Department of Labor to develop a new strategic plan to produce the right types of graduates for the right types of jobs that may be available in the future.