- A new survey from the Flatiron School found 68% of working adults would return to school — either to college for an additional degree or to a credentialing "accelerated learning program" — if it guaranteed a high-paying job.
- The survey also found over 60% of adults are satisfied with the way college prepared them to enter the workforce.
- "Personal issues" and cost were the top reasons adults who didn't attend or finish college were halted, and cost is the number one thing keeping people from returning to school.
Respondents to the Flatiron School survey varied in age, but the largest representation came from the 30-44 age range, meaning these individuals have mostly had significant time out of school and in the workforce — but also meaning that a majority may have graduated before the higher ed cost bubble inflated to current levels of concern. Additionally, a sizeable majority — 61.45% — either didn't have student debt or said it doesn't negatively affect them, further validating the idea that a majority of respondents likely graduated before the amenities arms race took over in higher ed, driving costs with it.
However, college marketers should hone in on the idea that a majority of respondents feel their college experience prepared them well for the workforce, and should focus on promoting the ROI of college attendance and graduation, perhaps more than the culture and experiential aspects of campus life. This means, however, that administrators must work to ensure positive ROI, by creating programs which align with workforce needs, bringing in industry speakers and helping to forge relationships with the private sector to help promote more opportunities for internships and employment for students. And trying to find ways to help contain costs or increase fundraising to provide scholarships for majors which will contribute to societal good but not come with high salaries is one way to continue to highlight the importance of these professions while still providing value for students.