THE CASE FOR A POSTSECONDARY CREDENTIAL

The term higher education describes the certificates and degrees people earn after they graduate from high school. The future of Texas depends on a majority of its residents getting some form of higher education. Why? Because it boosts our state’s know-how and resourcefulness, and helps build a more productive workforce. Plus, a more educated workforce leads to innovation and expansion and more economic opportunities. 

The U.S. job market changed during the recession in 2008. Research shows the U.S. created ll.6 million new jobs in the years that followed. Ninety-nine percent of the new jobs went to workers who had some form of higher education.

Many jobs that disappeared during the recession are not coming back. Especially for workers with a high school diploma or less. And get this – two thirds of the jobs that will be in high demand a generation from now do not exist today! Already, businesses across Texas are unable find the skilled workers they need to fill vacant jobs in some industries.  

This matters because the Texas economy, when ranked as a country, places ahead of Australia, Korea and Spain.  In fact, it ranks as the 15th largest economy in the world. With changes in technology and in the nature of how we work, Texas can only keep this level of economic prosperity by having a more educated workforce.

By 2030, 60 percent or more of all new jobs will require some level of higher education. Today, only 42 percent of young Texans between the ages of 25 and 34 have an associate degree or higher.

Rapid innovation and technological progress are changing the face of work in Texas. Higher education must prepare students for this reality. It must also prepare them to adapt as the job market changes. This calls for new ways of thinking about higher education. We must look at how colleges and universities can meet the civic and economic needs of Texas not only today but in the future.

As Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes said in 2016, “We are going to have to innovate – to come up with creative ideas about how to address our needs and achieve our goals.” 

It will take energy and creativity to reach the goals of 60x30TX. And everyone in Texas will have a role to play. Success depends on taking bold actions and working together to create and expand promising higher education practices. Together, we can fulfill the four student-centered goals of 60x30TX and make higher education possible for the greatest number of Texans!

NUMBER OF JOBS GAINED NATIONALLY DURING THE FINANCIAL RECOVERY of 2010-2016

80K

Completing high school or less

3.1M

With an associates degree or some college

8.4M

With a bachelor's degree or higher

80K

Completing high school or less

3.1M

With an associates degree or some college

8.4M

With a bachelor's degree or higher

Featured Video

The Future Of Higher Education In Texas: The 60x30TX Plan.  Woody Hunt is Executive Chairman of Hunt Companies, Inc. His passion is education, and he has served or is serving on numerous Boards and Committees for the advancement of education in El Paso and the state. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.