Increasing degree and certificate production in high-demand fields at all levels and narrowing the workforce gaps that stifle the State’s economic viability are shared goals of many agencies and entities throughout state government. For postsecondary education, guiding students into programs that will lead to productive employment is one focus, and partnering closely with business and industry to more appropriately align career and college programs to create seamless transitions is another.
As students navigate the higher education landscape, more and more students are choosing majors and seeking career guidance around the topic that their higher education experience will lead to Hire Education. According to Money magazine, 85% of 141,000 incoming freshman polled at 200 universities said “getting a better job was a major reason for going to college, and six in 10 considered a college’s ability to help its graduates get good jobs when deciding where to attend.” As a result of this growing trend, Higher Education has to become increasingly more committed to also being Hire Education.
To assess workforce supply, the Board of Regents maintains data on enrollments and completers in programs across the postsecondary system and has developed metrics summarizing employment outcomes through data sharing agreements with the LWC. LCTCS maintains data on enrollments and completers in credentials below the certificate level over which it has jurisdiction and has developed metrics summarizing employment outcomes for those completers through data sharing agreements with the LWC. As with the Lumina Foundation, the Board of Regents recognizes the importance of certificates of value (short-term certificates in high demand by Louisiana’s employers) offered by the State’s community and technical colleges.
The key is that Louisiana’s educational attainment rate and workforce preparation at every level must increase in order for the state to competitive.