Missour's Big Goal Logo

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 for the state to reach its goal?

In 2011, about 36.4 percent of adults in Missouri had an associate or bachelor’s degree. When individuals with a professional certificate are included, the number increases to 46 percent. That leaves the state about 14 percent away from achieving its goal.


Without concerted action to enroll, graduate and certify more citizens, the state will fall short of its goal by nearly 10 percent. In order toReaching Missouri's Big Goal Graph achieve the 60-percent goal, Missouri must increase its annual production of degrees and certificates by about 3,000 (more than 3 percent) each year.

Missouri is making progress toward reaching its goal. 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.

  • Accessibility – 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.