Preparing Adults for the Future

Transitions to Postsecondary Education or Work

Authored by: Judith A. Alamprese

Handbook of Family Literacy

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415884570
eBook ISBN: 9780203841495
Adobe ISBN: 9781136899126


 Download Chapter



The call for a better-skilled workforce in the United States has focused attention on the role of postsecondary education and training in facilitating low-skilled adults’ economic mobility. Economists have noted that adults at all skill levels, particularly those with a high school diploma or less, have an increasingly difficult time negotiating labor markets. The numbers of working poor in this population are high and their prospects for upward mobility are low and falling (Osterman, 2005). Over the past 40 years, the trends in family income of adults ages 30 to 39 have shown that the income of those with a college degree has grown by 46% compared to a growth of 76% by those with an advanced degree. In contrast, the family income of adults with less than a high school diploma has declined by 6% (Haskins, Holzer, & Lerman, 2009). According to recent projections, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the 46.8 million job open ings expected by 2018 will require workers with at least some col lege education. A bachelor’s degree will be necessary for approximately one–third of the jobs, while 30% will require some college or a two-year associate’s degree. Only 36% of the jobs will be available for workers with a high school diploma or less (Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2010).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.