The Jobless Rate For Community-College Graduates Is Also Low

Career College Central summary:

  • The federal government’s main educational-attainment categories are fairly blunt. In particular, the “some college” category includes a wide array of people: Those who have dropped out of college without earning any degree, those who have earned a two-year degree meant to lead directly to a job (such as in nursing) and those who have earned an academic two-year degree that is often a first step toward a bachelor’s degree.
  • If you want to understand how successful community colleges are, to take just one example, you need to know how well someone with a two-year degree fares in the job market. Fortunately, in a series of tables that aren’t on its website but are available upon request, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does distinguish among the different versions of “some college.”
  • The group with the highest jobless rate, not surprisingly, is people who have attended some college classes without earning any degree. Their jobless rate is only slightly lower than that of high school graduates who have never attended college.
  • By comparison, people who have earned two-year degrees have substantially lower jobless rates than high school dropouts. And perhaps the most intriguing differences are between the two kinds of community-college graduates: those with an occupational degree and those with an academic degree.
  • An occupational degree is one “for which the primary purpose is gainful employment and career development,” according to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. People who earn such degrees become nurses, firefighting supervisors, pilots, detectives, dental hygenists and nuclear and electric technicians, among other things.
  • Their unemployment rates are also noticeably lower than those for people with academic two-year degrees (which are intended to help people transfer to a four-year college). The overall unemployment rate for people with occupational two-year degrees was 4 percent in April, compared with 4.8 percent for holders of academic two-year degrees.

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