” Estimates show about 60 percent of jobs in Delaware will require a college degree by 2020, but we are only on track for about 38 percent of adults to have a college degree. And, our current data shows that of 100 ninth-graders, only about 30 are seamlessly enrolling in college and then persisting to their sophomore year.”  Mark Murphy, Delaware’s Secretary of Education.

“60% of jobs require a college degree….”

In the spring of 2008, Delaware’s employment peaked at 440,000 jobs. (Today it is at 425,000). Therefore of those, by 2020, at 60% there will be 264,000 jobs requiring a college degree, and 176,000 not requiring that degree. Of course this includes all Delawareans, from age 65 on down.

Each year we graduate about 10,000 students. 30% of those are progressing past the first year of college on a four year program.  That makes 3000 of our graduates entering the job market 4 years later with a completed college degree.

How many years does one work on the average? 44? From age 21 to age 65? If so then in Delaware, we currently have 10,000 jobs opening up every year because of retirement… (440,000 / 44 years = 10,000) If averages apply then 60% or 6,000 of those jobs opening up will require a college degree and 40% or 4000 will not.

So each year we have those 3000 who finished in 4 years, capable of going into 6,000 college-degree-required openings… giving us a supposed deficit of 3000 capably-trained people or knowledgeable workers each year.

In other words we will have to go out of state to find those 3000 jobs a year, and those 3000 high school graduates who didn’t finish college in 4 years will be unemployed.

At first glance it looks like we have a number.  Proof that Common Core will do some good after all…  Imagine my excitement!  Finally after all these months!

Alas, it was not to be.   For in each class of University of Delaware’s graduates, only 68% graduate in 4 years.  77% have graduated in 6 years.  Leaving an additional 7% who get their degrees over 6 years time.  (13.9% are not counted at all; transfers)

There are close to 17,505 undergraduates at the University of Delaware alone. By forcing the mix of those graduating without taking a break, one is discounting at least 9% of the University of Delaware’s students alone, who will graduate with a degree, just as good as one belonging to someone graduating in 4 years. Assuming equal distribution among classes, that puts 4300 per class.  The 9% and 7% who will graduate late, amount to 2800 of the total each year…

Remember the deficit of 3000 Delaware jobs not finding college degrees from those graduating in 4 years?  Well 2800 of those 3000 jobs just got filled from local graduates who took longer to finish college, every year.

So this huge push, to revamp our entire educational system because we are falling behind internationally, is just not so. We have more college graduates now, than jobs available. That is why we have unemployment. We are already on slate to have sufficient college graduates to fill in all those 60% of our workforce needed in 2020…

The trick was their specifying finishing in 4 continuous years. Nationally very few college graduates are finishing in 4 years. Counting those college graduates taking longer than 4 years, there is no deficit at all.