Value of Tuition Assistance is Far Reaching

Generally employees, businesses and higher education institutions think of tuition assistance as an employee benefit. It gives value to employees and gives businesses a valuable return on their investment in the form of an educated, skilled workforce. But, there is an even bigger picture to look at regarding the value of tuition assistance. The value of tuition assistance extends to the impact U.S. businesses make on the global marketplace.

Value of a degree job seekers and employees:
It’s tough going for job applicants who don’t have a degree. A Career Builder survey shows that 32 percent of employers have increased their education requirements over the past five years. Today’s jobs are different according to 60 percent of these employers. They require a workforce that is highly skilled and has more education.

The value of a degree for job applicants is high: 69 percent of employers use a college degree as a screener, and 63 percent say they would higher favor hiring someone without relevant experience than without a degree. . Higher education also impacts employees’ professional success: 36 percent of employers say they are unlikely to promote someone who doesn’t have a degree.

Value of Educated workers for Business:
Employers see the value of higher education in end results, according to the Career Builder survey. By hiring more educated workers:
• 57 percent of employers report higher quality work,
• 43 percent see higher productivity,
• 38 percent see better communication, and
• 37 percent see additional innovation and idea generation.

The bigger picture:
“There is a strong correlation between the skills of America’s workforce and the prosperity of our nation,” said Mary Gardner Clagett, Director for National Workforce Policy, Jobs for the Future. “Our country must dramatically increase the number of Americans with industry-recognized, postsecondary credentials that are needed by high-demand industries and occupations, or we risk the outmigration of good jobs and a stalling of the economy.”

Near future predictions spell out the need for the U.S. to increase the number of educated, skilled workers. Three years from now, in 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education and training. However, the U.S. will have a shortage of 3 million workers with associate’s degrees and 5 million with technical certificates. Right now, over 50 percent of 25-year-olds in the U.S. have no postsecondary credential.

These 25-year-olds are the people who can become the highly skilled an educated workforce the U.S. needs to create.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center expects the number of high school graduates to level off, so they aren’t the solution to the impending worker shortage. Workers in the labor force can fill current and future needs, but only if businesses recognize and promote the value of tuition assistance.

Even with 50 percent of people over 25 having no postsecondary credentials, in 2015-16 the number of graduates in that age group, earning their first degree, declined 7 percent from the year before. This is the continuation of a trend among older students. Since 2012-13, the number of graduates in the 25 and older age group has declined by almost 50,000.

The value of tuition assistance is both immediate and long-lasting. The impact of helping workers attain their degree grows from individual to far-reaching global effects. Strengthening the skills of individual workers makes it possible for the U.S to build a workforce that creates a strong economy that competes successfully in the world marketplace.