As we think about creating a more skilled, technical workforce and targeting those with some college and no degree to retool for the future of our information economy, it likely will not be enough to simply invite these consumers back into an educational pathway. The pathway will need to be the right one–one with enough clarity, purpose and relevance to the prospective students’ working lives.

Results confirm that work outcomes are the main reason most people choose higher education, with 58% reporting job and career outcomes as their primary motivation. This is true across all higher education pathways and demographic subgroups. Work outcomes are also more than double the next most prevalent reason with 23% reporting a general motivation to learn more and gain knowledge without linking it to work or career aspirations.

Main Reason for Choosing Level of Education

Perhaps most significant, the survey revealed that those who start an educational path and fail to complete it are more likely than those who completed to report general aspirations for learning and knowledge as their top motivation. Read this report to learn how helping students clarify a work-related purpose for pursuing a postsecondary pathway may boost persistence and completion, and ensure they realize their main motivation for attending – to find a job and launch their career.

Main Reason for Choosing Institution
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