While the majority of Americans see their country falling behind other nations economically, they also believe the nation can improve its standing with more college degrees, according to a new survey from Kaplan. The Kaplan University Education Insights Survey found 83 % of adults in the United States agree that the country is falling behind, with seven in 10 saying that the nation can improve its standing if more people earn college degrees. 'America has the talent to be competitive,' said Peter Smith, senior vice president for Academic Strategies 'If we can help close the degree gap, by making higher education more accessible to more Americans, we will stop wasting our talent, increase our global competitiveness, and get more people into sustainable, higher paying careers.' This finding comes on the heels of a study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems that found that the United States will need to produce 63.1 million degrees to match leading nations in the percentage of adults with college degrees by 2025. At the current pace, the country will fall short of that threshold by 16 million degrees. The survey also found that nine out of ten adults believe that higher degree or continuing education makes a person more attractive to potential employers.
Also, 90 % report that furthering one's education can increase one's earning potential and opportunities for promotion. 84% of high school-educated, employed adults have concerns about their jobs and specifically about losing their job or not being able to find a new job if let go while 63% of college, educated adults are worried. 55% of Americans between 18 and 34 years say the economy influences their education decision. Women, who make up six out of every 10 students enrolled in college, are more likely to be influenced by the economy (63 %) than men (46%) in this age category. The 'Education and the Economy' survey was conducted online for Kaplan by Harris Interactive this fall among 2,256 U.S. adults, of whom 1,276 are employed full time and/or part time.