Across OECD countries, higher education graduates enjoy higher employment rates and earnings than workers with only an upper secondary qualification. However, not all graduates find jobs that make full use of their skills and help them launch rewarding careers, and employers in some economic sectors point to a lack of qualified graduates. Policy makers are concerned about the current alignment of higher education systems to labour markets, and are increasingly uneasy about the future of work and the resilience of higher education systems in uncertain economic times. This report, which focuses on four US states – Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington – is the third of a series of country-specific reviews conducted as part of the OECD project on the labour market relevance and outcomes of higher education. The report offers a comprehensive review of graduate outcomes and policies supporting alignment between higher education and the labour market in the four participating states in 2018-19, an overview of the US labour market and higher education context, and a range of policy examples from across OECD jurisdictions to help improve the alignment of higher education and the labour market.
The Higher Education series will offer policy advice to governments and other higher education stakeholders who would like to learn how well their systems are performing in comparison to others. The series will provide insights on how higher education systems are performing overall and in specific areas; why some systems are performing better than others; and what countries can learn from the experience of others. In addition to policy and working papers, the series includes reports on the conceptual and analytical frameworks that underpin the work, as well as regular syntheses and country reports on benchmarking higher education system performance and the in-depth analysis of selected higher education topics.