By 2025, 68% of all Iowa jobs will require at least some college; a college diploma/certificate, an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or advanced degree (Iowa: Education and Workforce Trends through 2025, Carnevale et. al, 2015).
According to census data, the college completion rate for Ottumwa residents is currently 28% of adults age 25 and older. There is a significant gap between the type of work to be done in the future and a workforce who are qualified for that work.
Further, post-secondary attainment can have a significant impact on social issues. Did you know:
- An increase of 1% in degree attainment leads to a 2% increase in a community’s economic growth
- People with an associates degree have up 33% more lifetime earning power than
those with only a high school diploma
- Well educated workforce attracts high paying employers
- Higher annual wages = Higher dollar purchases for assets = Higher property taxes
But the benefits of more residents with post-secondary education aren’t just financial. As post-secondary attainment increases in a community, there is:
- Increased civic participation, including volunteer work, voting, and blood donation
- A decrease in unemployment rates
- Decreased reliance on public assistance programs
- Lower smoking rates, more positive perceptions of personal health
- A reduction in crime and incarceration rates