The job market in the United States has changed since the recession. Higher education is more important than ever.
College completions in Texas are improving, but not quickly enough. Only 20 percent of Texas 8th-grade students in 2006 graduated from college by 2017. This is far below what the state needs. Experts say that in 12 years 60 percent of Texans will need a certificate or degree for the state to stay competitive in the global economy. Right now, not nearly enough Texas students are completing the levels of education needed to fill the jobs that will be available.
That is why Texas adopted the 60x30TX plan. The future of Texas depends on a skilled and dynamic workforce, and a skilled and dynamic workforce begins with Texas students.
60x30TX was launched in 2015 with a clear and bold vision: to be among the highest-achieving states in the country. 60x30TX is a roadmap to help Texas reach that future through higher education.
Higher education provides many benefits to Texas students, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. That is why each 60x30TX goal is centered on Texas students. Research shows that someone with bachelor’s degree can earn nearly double the lifetime wages of a high school graduate. And as wages go up, so does the state’s revenue through tax increases. Higher education also helps the state meet its changing workforce needs and spurs new businesses. In other words, when Texas students win, the state wins.
The goals of 60x30TX are lofty, but the hard work and creativity of all Texans has laid a strong foundation for future success. A strength of the plan is that the four broad goals of 60x30TX work together. Specifically, the plan drives more students toward higher education with its student-centered goals of completing credentials, gaining marketable skills, and limiting student debt. The three goals, in turn, move the state toward its overarching goal of building a highly educated and skilled workforce.
Texans across the state are working together to innovate and broaden the idea of higher education to reach the four goals of 60x30TX. And while much work remains to be done, we can celebrate the progress that's underway.
The Higher Education Almanac gives a statewide and institution-by-institution look at what happened in Texas’s public higher education systems over the past year. The data are not intended to be an end point. These measures are a starting point – a prelude to inspire the courageous conversations, collaboration, and innovation that will help the state reach the bold goals of 60x30TX. We invite you to flip through the almanac’s pages and use the data as a springboard as we work together to elevate the state’s economic future and make higher education attainable for all Texans.