According to recent projections, 67% of all jobs in Connecticut in 2020 will require a career certificate or college degree. Connecticut remains one of the more educated states in the nation, with 45.9% of its young adults having earned a college degree by 2010. But that falls far short of the projections for employers’ needs by 2020, as well as a national goal set by President Obama of making the U.S. first in the world in the percentage of adults with college degrees – with the national target of 60 percent by 2020. Although Connecticut currently remains above the national average of 39.3%, new data from the U.S. Department of Education, reported by the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC), shows that between 2009 and 2010, the rate of young people with college degrees went down in Connecticut and 15 other states, while nationwide the number increased slightly.
For Connecticut to reach the national goal, as well as the projected needs of employers, the state’s public and private institutions will need to increase the percentage of Connecticut residents earning degrees. CCIC reports that independent colleges and universities award nearly half of Connecticut’s bachelor’s degrees and Connecticut residents make up 30% of first-year, full-time undergraduate student body. Among public institutions, the newly merged ConnSCU system (12 community college and 4 universities) has the largest number of undergraduate students, followed by the University of Connecticut, including its branch campuses.