NEW YORK, August 2, 2021 – As students head back to class this fall, a new Ipsos study reveals that America’s education system faces multiple divisions that will impact how it prepares the workforce of the future. These differences could create deeper inequities and a less ready workforce in the future, according to Ipsos' Education issue of What the Future magazine.
Chief among these differences, Americans are divided on the role of and need for college degrees. While 83% of American adults overall agree that college is an investment in a child’s future, younger adults are less likely to agree (76%) than middle-aged adults (84%) and older adults (81%). Younger adults are also the least likely to say a college degree is worth the cost (52%) compared to middle-aged adults (60%) and older adults (58%).
Along with these insights, in this issue of What the Future, Ipsos asks education, futurism, technology and workforce development experts four major questions:
- Lisa Gevelber, chief marketing officer, Americas Region at Google —Will employers embrace nontraditional credentials?
- Rita J. King, co-founder, Science House —Do you need college to learn the most sought-after skill?
- Steven Wolfe Pereira, CEO and co-founder, Encantos —Did education lose a decade or gain a new path forward?
- Cindy Cisneros, vice president of education programs, Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board —How should we fund and evolve the supply chain of the future workforce?
The education issue also includes commentary from Ipsos researchers with solutions for brands to help them prepare for implications for potential education futures. These include student debt policy reform, how partisan gulfs in education policy may create readiness gaps for future workers, increasing credibility for e-learning, and diversity and inclusivity needs for companies to rebuild and expand equity in the workforce that was lost over the pandemic. The full issue is here. Below are research highlights followed by a topline of the survey results:
- 81% of parents with a child in school rated their kids’ education highly before the pandemic compared to 59% after the pandemic. 55% of parents say they are worried that their child is falling behind in school due to the pandemic.
- 76% of Americans agree that a college degree is a part of the American Dream. Yet younger adults are far less likely to agree (63%) than middle-aged adults (77%) or older adults (84%).
- 94% of parents agree that technology is a valuable tool for education, yet 74% of parents in households of less than $75,000 say that their child has their own dedicated laptop, tablet or desktop computer at home. 91% of those in households with $75,000 to $100,000 agree and 82% of those in households with $100,000 to $150,000 agree.
- 72% of working fathers compared to 42% of working mothers agree that they can afford childcare when their child has to stay home from school or daycare. 76% of working fathers compared to 56% of working mothers agree that they are able to effectively juggle their work and their child’s online learning.
- 43% of Republicans and 70% of Democrats agree that their local public schools should teach according to a national curriculum. Meanwhile, 37% of Republicans and 86% of Democrats agree that public schools should teach that racism exists in our community institutions.
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 15-17, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 2,009 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents.
For full results, please refer to the following annotated questionnaire here: