Florida’s degree needs through 2030
“What will be the demand for higher education 20 years from now? What is the capacity of the system to supply the demand?”
Depending on who’s asking, “demand” can mean student demand for meaningful degree programs, employer demand for specific graduates for specific jobs, or more generalized economic demand for graduates to maintain or increase competitiveness.
Similarly, “capacity” is rarely a fixed concept in higher education. Even traditional college students spend more time working and studying outside the classroom than in it, so the physical constraints of room capacity are rarely an issue. And if things really get tight, classroom “capacity” can stretch into nights and weekends, too. While most would understand that a freshman writing class with 200 students and multiple choice assignments is not good academic practice, there is no clear rule in most disciplines to say how many students are too many, or how little writing is too little. Often what is meant by “capacity” is something like the “ability to accommodate students with no major shifts in the model of education delivery or dilution of quality.”
This graph, created when I was director of planning and institutional research for the State University System, uses baseline data from 2006-07, and projects the number of graduates that would be needed to meet employer demand and student demand by 2030, based on current statistics and user-defined trends.
How fast do you think the private higher education sector will grow? Will increasing success in K-12 education drive more student demand? What goal level would lead to economic competitiveness for the state?