In recent years, the demand for adult education has been increasing steadily. In light of the fact that, historically speaking, a traditional four-year degree from an accredited college or university could guarantee well paying employment, many people have begun to wonder why the need for adult education or continuing studies has been on the rise.
The bottom line is that as individuals become ever more interested in educating themselves, not only for higher salaries, but also for a greater degree of personal growth, while college admissions processes have become progressively competitive. As a result, the job market has become similarly competitive. With more people going to college and obtaining four-year degrees, employers are seeking individuals with a higher level of education and experience to fill positions that were once filled by recent college graduates.
Consequently, adults who were already a part of the workforce have found it necessary to ensure that they can remain just as competitive as their younger counterparts, many of whom have gone on to pursue their studies in graduate programs in an effort to make themselves more marketable upon graduation.
Programs that offer adult education courses have seen a rise in applicants seeking professional degrees such as juris doctorates, doctorates in a variety of different fields of study, medical degrees, and masters’ degrees such as a master in business administration degree, commonly referred to as an MBA.
Although it is certainly commendable that a large percentage of the population is beginning to seek advanced, post-graduate degrees, this has also affected enrollment rates for adults who had not previously achieved a four-year degree but were offered employment because of other reasons, such as comparable work experience. In order to guarantee that they can sustain their positions, and their incomes, adults such as these are now required to go back to school, obtain their degrees and even pursue the aforementioned professional degrees.
Certainly it is beneficial for our country to have a large number of individuals with relevant academic experience filling some of the most important roles in our society. However, there has been a considerable amount of criticism concerning the ability for today’s recent college graduates to obtain positions that offer adequate income for the skills that they possess. While some may argue that financial aid programs, scholarships, and government assistance has undoubtedly increased, allowing virtually anyone with the desire to achieve higher education to do so, it is important to consider the fact that increased competition in college admissions has also driven up the price of education, undeniably spurring a slew of potential ramifications that can be caused by too many students sinking further and further into debt as a result of applying for student loans to cover the costs of their college and post-graduate educations.
Perhaps education should be made more affordable to all, but even still, we are faced with the dilemma of finding individuals who will fill the lower paying positions with less opportunity for upward mobility that are still extremely significant in the overall function of our society as a whole.