A new Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey has found that American adults place the highest value on educational programs that closely align with career pathways.
Starda surveyed nearly 340,000 adults to provide new insight into learners’ needs and priorities.
“Educators, policymakers, and advocates have spent the last decade debating ways to make education more valuable to students — but, until now, consumer voices have been largely missing from the conversation,” said Carol D’Amico, Executive Vice President, National Engagement and Mission at Strada Education Network.
Nearly 52 percent of those who received degrees in health care fields strongly agreed that it was worth the cost and made them an attractive job candidate followed by adults who graduate in Engineering, Education, Mathematics, Computer Science and Business.
Adults who graduated in non-degree vocational and technical programs were most likely to strongly agree that their education was worth the cost. About 50 percent with graduate degrees, 48 percent of those with associate degrees and 40 percent with bachelor’s degrees also echoed the same.
Around 66 percent with graduate degrees and 56 percent of those who graduated in nondegree vocational and technical programs were most likely to strongly agree that their education makes them an attractive job candidate.
“The data is telling policymakers, employers and educators alike that students in any major, from engineering to English to psychology, want to know how to connect their learning to a future job. We must work together to better help learners make those connections through advising, mentoring and applied learning,” said Sarah J. Bauder, Chief Transformation Officer for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
“As they consider investing their time, money and hopes in postsecondary education, consumers need to see that it will connect them with a purposeful pathway. That’s when they find value,” Bauder added.