tertiary education, sometimes called post-secondary, third-level or higher education, is education that extends beyond the normal limits of secondary education. In most cases it has something to do with a particular specialization in a subject, like medicine or business administration. At times, however, tertiary education is connected with a broader movement, such as the anti-conscience movement during the mid-twentieth century. However, it should not be confused with the arts, which are typically seen as the “higher” form of learning. In most countries, tertiary education is available through the country's universities and community colleges.
Many programs leading to tertiary education have been initiated as a response to a lack of qualified labor in certain fields, including medicine and IT, and to a perceived shortage of workers with technical skills. In many cases, tertiary education is now seen as a ladder to stable, middle-class employment, rather than an elite degree. tertiary education institutions have been creating programs aimed at equipping students with knowledge, either through distance education or traditional on-campus classes. A recent study by the Organization for Economic Co-corporation and Development found that overall employment growth was fairly strong in most developed countries, especially in information technology and in finance.
Tertiary education is necessary because skills learned in college cannot be easily transferred to other fields, even after graduation. Tertiary programs train people to work with computers, in finance, in business administration, and in medicine. These professionals are able to enter the labor market already employed in their field of choice, increasing the potential for economic growth. tertiary education institutions also create many programs to improve the functioning of the government and improve the quality of jobs in the service industries. tertiary education also creates programs to support vocational and adult learners, creating more well-paying jobs in the long term.
The first group of people identified by the United States Department of Education as being most at risk are students from the poorest 20 percent of the population. At any one time, the poorest 20 percent of families in the country cannot afford the costs of post-high-school education for their children. This represents billions of dollars in lost revenue each year. With billions of dollars lost due to low-income families, some economists argue that the country as a whole loses billions of dollars in potential revenue as a result of tertiary education enrollment.
An increase in the number of adults with the ability to work in a formal capacity will most likely cause a corresponding increase in the number of job openings. The United States currently has about half a million workers who are eligible for unemployment benefits. If half a million working adults had no secondary education in addition to a high school diploma, that could account for one percent of the labor force in the country. The dropout rate from tertiary education institutions is currently about five percent. If half a million working adults did not have . . . . . . a post-secondary degree, about five percent of the labor force would be employed in occupations that do not require a post-secondary degree.
A secondary education program's success depends on its success outside of the United States. In other words, can American students who do not have a secondary education to find employment in other countries that have the same higher education standards? In many developing countries, having a secondary education is a requirement for receiving a basic level of schooling. Without a secondary education, life can be very difficult.