Ninety-six percent of Americans say it is "somewhat" or "very" important for adults in the country to have a degree or certificate beyond high school. Clearly, the perceived importance of postsecondary education remains very high, especially considering the majority of American adults do not have a degree. But something very troubling lurks beneath the surface of this finding in the recently released fourth annual Gallup-Lumina Foundation poll.
Only 13% of Americans strongly agree college graduates in this country are well-prepared for success in the workplace. That's down from 14% two years ago and 19% three years ago. This is effectively a "no confidence" vote in college graduates' work readiness, and if we don't work to fix it, there will be catastrophic effects for the American education system and economy.
The no confidence vote gets worse: Americans with college degrees are much less likely to strongly agree college grads are ready for the workforce than Americans without college degrees -- 6% vs. 18%, respectively.Where is the disconnect?