Report roundup

By AACC 21st Century Center Staff

Here are three reports to know about this month:

Degrees, certificates conferred

The number of conferred associate degrees decreased from 2020-21 to 2021-22, but certificates saw an increase, according to the 2024 Report on the Condition of Education, released by the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report draws on federal data to follow key trends in K-12 and postsecondary education, including college enrollment and completion rates.

The number of bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees conferred increased between 2011–12 and 2021–22, while the number of certificates and associate degrees conferred was about 1 million each in both years. At the sub-baccalaureate level, the percentage of awards conferred in a career and technical education (CTE) field decreased from 2011–12 to 2021–22 (from 94% to 85% percent of certificates, and from 59% to 50% percent of associate degrees). And the number of associate degrees conferred decreased by 29,000, from 1,037,300 in 2020-21, to 1,008,300 in 2021-22.

Students change paths

More than half of recent high school seniors who planned to attend a four-year college this fall but opted not to selected another path, including a community college, another two-year program or part-time bachelor’s programs. Those are among the findings of a new report from the Art & Science Group that examined why students who intended to go to a baccalaureate institution decided not to, based on a survey this spring of 2,408 high school seniors.

Another 24% of those students indicated they would take the semester off, with 9% saying they were deferring enrollment. Only 3% said they had no plans to attend any college. While paying for college was among factors in their decision not to go to a four-year college, only 26% of non-attending students cited cost-related concerns or need to work to help support themselves or their families as the primary reason not to attend.

A look at skilled trades

A new report from local home services finder Angi spotlights the opportunities and challenges in the skilled services trades.A survey this spring of 1,200 trades professionals — from single owners, to employees at large corporations — shows that there’s a continued shortage of skilled workers in construction, plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other areas. Nearly 40% of tradespeople surveyed said they couldn’t find employees to fill open positions, and two-thirds (66%) said they could expand their businesses if they could attract more skilled workers.

The report notes that a lack of skilled workers, which include home-improvement professionals, affects homeowners who need repairs or have home projects. Because of the labor shortage, labor and home projects have become more expensive and there are longer waits to schedule services, the report says. In addition, survey participants indicate more investment in high schools programs and creating more apprenticeships could open more opportunities for younger people.

AACC 21st Century Center Staff

is a contributor to the 21st-Century Center.