She believes the mismatch is two-fold: the time it takes to hire is too long, and hiring overlooks underrepresented groups. For example, Colangelo said only half of GenZ workers plan to achieve a four-year degree. Companies that continue to insist on four-year college degrees are therefore narrowing the pool of talent they can recruit from.

Source: Despite mass layoffs led by Meta, it’s still hard to fill tech jobs

In about 1965, only half of US adults had a high school diploma. Today, 91% have a high school diploma and 63% of US adults have education of some type beyond the high school diploma.

In 1971, 19% of US adults had a college degree.

  • In 2021, the highest level of education of the population age 25 and older in the United States was distributed as follows: 
    • 8.9% had less than a high school diploma or equivalent.
    • 27.9% had high school graduate as their highest level of school completed. 
    • 14.9% had completed some college but not a degree.
    • 10.5% had an associate degree as their highest level of school completed.
    • 23.5% had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree.
    • 14.4% had completed an advanced degree such as a master’s degree, professional degree or doctoral degree. 
  • The high school completion rate in the United States for people age 25 and older increased from 87.6% in 2011 to 91.1% in 2021.

Census Bureau Releases New Educational Attainment Data

That’s 38% of US adults age 25+ now have at least a 4-year degree.  Among the younger cohort, say, 25+ to 40, a slightly higher percentage have a 4-year degree. Significantly more women than men hold college degrees (and have been the majority of college enrollment since the 1980s).

Today, 14% have an advanced degree – meaning that today’s advanced degree is, in some ways, on par with the 4-year degree of the 1970s.

47% of U.S. immigrants in recent years had at least a 4-year degree (in part because our immigration laws favor those with undergraduate and graduate education).

Not sure what to make of the original assertion that half of Gen Z is pursuing a college degree.

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