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Future Workforce Demands Hinge On Post-Secondary Education

The Commission for Higher Education says the number of Hoosiers completing some level of post-secondary education must dramatically increase for the state to meet its workforce demands.

Nearly two-thirds of Indiana jobs in the next decade will require education beyond a high school diploma, anything from a trade certificate to a two-year associate's degree or four-year bachelor's degree. But less than a third of Hoosier adults have completed post-secondary education.

Former University of Indianapolis president Beverley Pitts says producing a greater degree output will require the state's public and private higher education institutions to work together.

"Finding ways in which specific missions can match up with other missions; that what each institution does well it does and we don't find ourselves, you know, maybe overbuilding the store, so to speak," Pitt says.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Brinegar says the Hoosier business community also has to step up.

"Do a better job of communicating to the students and to the higher education institutions what their needs are, what the skills they are so that there is a greater awareness," Brinegar says.

Brinegar says talking to students and parents in high school about what is necessary for a given field and what to expect in college can help students avoid having to change majors several times.

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