Higher education, greater success: Data shows attainment levels, incomes jumping locally

The Republic

Significantly more residents in the greater Columbus area have earned advanced degrees compared to nearly a decade ago, an improvement that local educational and economic leaders say is beneficial to the community and its economy. The increase is attributable to job growth, skill needs, talent attraction and education attainment initiatives

The percentage of residents in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 24 to 35 percent from 2010 to 2017, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which released its latest one-year American Community Survey in September.

The increase in local higher education attainment occurred more rapidly than one would expect, said Bill Jensen, director of secondary education for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.

“It’s (typically) slow work to make that level of difference in that time frame. That’s why it takes such a combined effort,” Jensen said.

 

The Columbus-based Community Education Coalition has been leading efforts in Bartholomew and nine other counties in southeast Indiana to raise the education attainment of each resident at l

east one level, whether that’s a certification, or an associate, bachelor’s or mas

“The employers who employ people, collectively our community-based organization, our education partners — everyone is working together in the community so we can grow the learning system so it connects to the economy and quality of life,” said John Burnett, the education coalition’s president and CEO.ter’s degree. The CEC spearheads a collective effort involving education systems, employers, local government and nonprofit organizations.

“The employers who employ people, collectively our community-based organization, our education partners — everyone is working together in the community so we can grow the learning system so it connects to the economy and quality of life,” said John Burnett, the education coalition’s president and CEO.

During the same 2010-2017 period, the area’s median household income rose from $47,192 to $61,533, and the percentage of households with incomes of $150,000 or more jumped from 4.2 percent to 12.2 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data.

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2019-01-30T11:51:12+00:00