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By 2018, approximately 60 percent of all jobs in Missouri will require some form of postsecondary education – a professional certificate or a two-year, four-year or advanced degree.

The state has set a goal – Missouri’s Big Goal – for 60 percent of adults to have a certificate or degree by 2025.

What will it take to reach this goal?

In 2014, about 38.1 percent of adults in Missouri had an associate or bachelor’s degree, up from 33.2 percent in 2005. When individuals with a professional certificate are included, the number increases to approximately 50.6 percent. That leaves the state just under 10 percent away from achieving its goal. If Missouri is to reach its goal, the state will have to gain about 200,000 additional working-age adults (age 24-64) with a postsecondary degree or certificate. Reaching Missouri's Big Goal Graph

Missouri is making progress toward meeting its Big Goal for Higher Education. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of adults in the state holding a two-year or four-year degree increased by 1.5 percent, ranking the state sixth in the nation in degree growth. Maintaining that momentum will require innovative ideas and continuous collaboration by individuals and organizations throughout the state.

The Department of Higher Education is focusing its efforts in several areas to assist the state in meeting its education and workforce goals.

  • Attainment – improve college readiness and making higher education opportunities available to all students across the state.
  • Affordability – keep the cost of college within reach for Missouri families.
  • Quality – ensure students acquire the knowledge and skills they need for a rapidly changing world and workplace.
  • Completion – help students stay the course to finish a certificate or degree program.