A new report says low-income parents often don’t know where to go to get their children educated.
That’s why it’s important to look for opportunities outside of schools, like private companies that offer online learning and job training, according to the National Review.
“The reason that most people don’t get into college and graduate college is because they don’t have the money or the skills to go out and take those courses,” said Adam Winkler, a professor of educational policy at the University of California at Irvine.
“If you want to get into a business, you have to get out of school, get some degrees, and that’s really difficult for a lot of people.”
In addition to school and college, many families also don’t realize that there are a lot more options than they thought, such as a career in an insurance company or as a lawyer.
For many, the only way to get a college degree is by going to college, but that may not be the best way to go about it.
“It’s not that college is the most important thing, it’s that you have a college education and you want a job, and you’re willing to learn a little bit about what your business is and how it works, but not too much and just enough to make sure that you get the job,” said Winkler.
In the report, titled “The Job Market for Poor and Underprivileged Americans,” the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) notes that for the third consecutive year, fewer than half of working adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher are employed.
That means that for many, going to school to get the diploma is a dead end.
“For the average working person, going back to school would be a huge success story, but the problem is that it’s not always that simple,” said Dan Gerson, NACE’s president and CEO.
“We found that the vast majority of poor and underprivileged adults in the U.S. don’t even have the qualifications needed to be in the workforce.
There’s still a lot that’s not yet known about how to get ahead.”
One in four people in the country have a bachelor degree or a higher degree, but only about two in 10 are working full-time, according the report.
Only about 1 in 5 of those people have a high school diploma.
“One in 10 adults without a high-school diploma in the United States does not have a job and only about half of those without a college diploma are working,” said Gerson.
“The job market for poor and underserved Americans is particularly dire, and we need to make it a priority to expand access to higher education and to make college more affordable for those who need it most.”
The report is the latest effort by the NACE to address the education gap.
Last year, it published a report that found that many Americans with high school diplomas still have jobs that require some college experience.
“In some ways, the education gaps we’re seeing are not surprising,” said Sarah E. Stoll, senior vice president for education policy at NACE.
“They’re just one part of the larger story about how our country fails the most vulnerable and under-served students in the future.”
More than 80% of Americans under age 30 have a postsecondary education, according NACE, but they have fewer options than before.
According to the report released Wednesday, more than half (54%) of low- and moderate-income households that are not in education have no college or university degree.
In addition, 16% of low income families have no job, which means that many people who might otherwise be working do not have the education to get to a job.NACE estimates that the average person who has a bachelor or higher degree in the public or private sector works less than half as long as they did five years ago, and the average worker who has only a high or intermediate school diploma works just three months less than they did just five years earlier.
“These data highlight the importance of getting to work, starting a family, and getting to college,” said Stoll.