Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida Not Producing Enough College Graduates To Meet Job Market Demand

sean.flynn / Flickr

Graduation day at Northwest Florida State College. A new report shows Florida isn't producing enough college graduates to meet job market demands.

Florida is not producing enough college graduates to meet the projected job market needs by 2018, according to a new report from the Lumina Foundation.

The Sunshine State ranks 31st in the nation for the percentage of adults who have earned a college degree.

About 36.5 percent of state residents have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s or a graduate or professional degree. Nationally, 38.3 percent of adults have a college degree.

The Lumina Foundation projects 59 percent of jobs will require a college degree by 2018, but Florida will fall far short of that mark at its current pace. The result could mean many state residents are frozen out of high-paying jobs that come with a college degree.

The state trails national rates for most racial groups as well. However, Hispanics are the exception. More than 31 percent of Florida Hispanics have a college degree, while nationally just 19 percent of Hispanics have a degree.

Check out the Florida results here, and read the full report here.


  • Kati

    sounds fishy

  • Michael Provitera

    This article indicates that all college graduates in the State of Florida should be able to find work in their own State. Unemployment for college grads is lower than non-college grads, but there are still a great deal of college grads looking for work in Florida. I would like to see the follow-up article to this one. Dr. Michael Provitera, author of the book titled “Mastering Self-Motivation” written for undergraduate students.

  • April Tischer

    High-wage jobs which are available do not necessarily match the skills sets of graduates; this needs to be considered when students choose an area of study.  They should be asking, “Where is growth projected and how can I gain skills that can be tailored to find employment in that industry?”
    As Michael Provitera’s post points out, unemployment rates for those with college degrees during the great recession were substantially lower than for those lacking degrees.  During 2010, the national unemployment rates were 4.0%, 5.4% and 7.0 %, respectively, for individuals holding master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees.  When compared with the national unemployment rates of those lacking a college degree, the benefit of education cannot be denied:  Individuals with some college but no degree faced a national unemployment rate of 9.2% in 2010; those with only a high school credential (standard diploma or GED),10.3%, and individuals who left school before earning a secondary credential were in the group hit hardest by unemployment, with an unemployment rate of nearly 15%.  (Source:  Department of Labor Statistics, 2011)

    During recent decades, Americans seem to have lost sight of the value of education.  Education opens doors to opportunity and to economic prosperity.  If we, as Americans, desire to improve the future, this trend must be reversed.  To ensure America’s economic stability, it is critical to re-engage adults and teens who have dropped out of school and to help them attain skills that will enable them to earn livable wages.  This can be accomplished through America’s adult education and postsecondary education system.  The effect of equipping America’s unskilled workforce with the skills needed by our nation’s employers will have a ripple effect by decreasing the need for public assistance and criminal justice funding and decreasing the rate of generational illiteracy and poverty. 

    • April, this is a great follow-up to the article. I recently was interviewed in a podcast about how to get into the middle class. You can take a look at my 30 minute segment on my website http://docprov.com. The host asked me how can people get into the middle class. The middle class marker in earnings is reaching an income of $64,000 by the time you are 40 years old for a family of 4. Education is the best way to get there. Interesting point, however, is that a masters degree candidate has the potential to make around $1,250 per week which brings them up to the $65,000 range. Also, unemployment for masters degree candidates is on average 3.9 percent. If you have time, listen to my podcast titled the Power of Purpose on my website. Live your life like you will die tomorrow, but learn like you will live forever—Gandi.
      Dr. Michael Provitera, author of the book titled “Mastering Self-Motivation.”

  • peanut12

    Our legislators and governor keep cutting education funding at all levels, from pre-kindergarden to college.  The only programs not being cut are the football programs.  On-line degrees are not the same thing as a proper education..   I have met teens being “home-schooled” through the education system, who are home alone.  I have also met a mother “home-schooling” her 7 year old when she had an eighth grade education herself.  And the idea of giving all control of education to the anti education right wing!  Our schools need proper funding, not attacks on teachers. 

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