Strada in partnership with Gallup
found that over half of people in the Southwest believe that they will need to return to school in some capacity, the highest of any region in the United States. Strada and Gallup surveyed people who had an associate degree or less between 2016 and 2019. In the Midwest and Rust Belt, that number fell around 35 percent. Only a third of respondents in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana reported needing additional education.
Automation is going to make the need for retraining and further education ever more important. A report released by the Brookings Institute
this year found that workers with less than a bachelor’s degree have a 55 percent risk of being automated out of a job. The move to the skills-based economy and the automation it brings makes education and continuous learning for workers moving through the labor force increasingly vital for advancement in the changing economy.
The survey found that people are particularly motivated when education opportunities come from an employer. Respondents without degrees are more likely to say a guaranteed employment outcome would be the greatest motivator for future education. Most people said that skills-training and educational opportunities from employers increase their chance of returning to school as well.