Research Proposal

Post-Secondary Education Decisions


To identify recent, emerging, or future trends around post-secondary education decisions in the US.

Early Findings

Post-secondary education decisions of those who wish to further their education are influenced by a number of emerging trends. Below are some of our findings:

Online Courses

  • The preference for online degrees has exploded in popularity in recent times. According to an article published by the Brookings Institution, enrollment in online courses has increased about four-fold in the last 15 years. More students are now choosing to pursue cheap and flexible online courses in contrast to the ever-increasing on-campus learning fees.
  • This particular trend is also fostered by the inability of universities to evolve their core programs fast enough to meet up with current industry demands. In a recent report by the BLS, the mismatch in employer needs and employee skills is leaving over seven million jobs unfilled in the U.S. — a niche online courses are especially known to cater to via their various specialized and ever-evolving courses and degrees.

Ease of the College Degree Requirement

  • In some large tech companies such as Google and Apple, prospective employees are no longer required to possess a university degree for certain job roles, with more companies favoring unique skills than a person's pedigree or educational background. According to an article by CNBC, job-seekers without a degree have an increased chance of finding employment in today’s job market.
  • The emerging trend will likely influence student's post-secondary education decisions as more individuals are increasingly becoming aware of the cost of higher education and weighing their options more carefully. According to a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, an increase of $1,243 in tuition fees is associated with a decline of 3.9 percentage points in the rate at which recent school-leavers choose to go on to university.


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Prepared By
Gbolahan G.
613 assignments | 5.0