Tennessee’s Post-Pandemic Workforce: Implications for the Value of Going to College

Author: Celeste K. Carruthers, Donald J. Bruce, Lawrence M. Kessler, Linnea Endersby

Publication Date: February 3, 2023

In the decade since the Drive to 55 was initiated, much has changed. According to the American Community Survey, 58% of Tennesseans 25 and older had at least some college-level education in 2019, up from 53% in 2010. However, as the impacts of COVID-19 reverberate throughout our economy, the current environment is more favorable for workers without college than it has been for a generation or more. A tight labor market, high college costs alongside high rates of student loan default, and growth in job opportunities for workers without college have led many to question if college is still worth the cost. What is the average long-term payoff from enrolling in college?

See Dr. Celeste Carruthers’ Presentation for SCORE