The percentage of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2016 to students in states with the highest percentages of students leaving the workforce has risen to a new record high, with 39.3 per cent of students in the U.S. earning a bachelor’s degree in 2020.
This is the highest figure in three years, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday.
In 2015, 32.9 per cent were earning bachelor’s and 22.9 were receiving a master’s degree.
In 2020, it was 36.3 and 22 per cent respectively.
The last time the rate was this high was in 2006, when it stood at 29.5 per cent.
The figures come as more states consider whether to require students to complete a two-year bachelor’s or master’s program in order to gain a degree.
A bill pending in the Virginia legislature would create a two year degree program for high school students, but there are concerns it will have a negative impact on students.
While the rate of completion of a bachelor degree is now the highest it has been in a decade, the overall rate of change is down by more than half from 20.4 per cent in 2016.
The data shows that the proportion of students graduating with a bachelor of arts degree is up from 15.5 to 19.2 per cent, while the proportion earning a master of arts is up slightly from 23.4 to 25.2.