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Report shows Michigan still trailing in post-high school education

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

More Michiganders are getting post-high school degrees and professional certificates.     

But it’s still not enough.

The Lumina Foundation tracks trends in higher education. Its latest report finds 45% of Michiganders (between the ages of 25 and 64) have college degrees or professional certifications.

The national average is 47.6%. Massachusetts topped the list with 56.8%. West Virginia is at the bottom with only 36.4%. 

“We’re convinced – and labor economists and other experts agree – that having such a credential is vital for anyone who hopes to succeed in the workplace and in life,” says Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation.

In Michigan, the data shows an increase in the number of people completing associate and bachelor's degrees.

Jamie Jacobs is with the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). She says more post-high school education is needed for a growing number of jobs. 

“We don’t currently have the workforce with the appropriate credentials to fill those knowledge-based jobs in Michigan,” says Jacobs.

Jacobs says Michigan will need 60% of its 25 to 64 year old population to have post-high school degrees and certificates to compete in the knowledge-based economy of the future.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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