The Enrollment Bounce
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, enrollment for undergraduate degrees have witnessed an upswing, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse .
College enrollments were already on a downward trajectory before the advent of the pandemic, which exacerbated the trend. So the recent growth is a meaningful shift.
Community colleges took the lead, accounting for 59% of the undergraduate growth. Diverse student groups — Black, Latino, and Asian — largely drove this expansion, while enrollment of white students observed a decline.
The growth rate at historically Black colleges and universities notably outpaced the general enrollment trend.
This uptick in enrollments is a beacon of hope, especially for community colleges, and those who were affected during the pandemic. More students opting for shorter courses, such as associate degrees over bachelor’s, hints at a larger trend of students redefining their educational paths.
The job market has evolved as well during the pandemic. Between the rapid rise of AI, the persistence of the gig economy, and mass layoffs in tech this year, students and prospective job seekers have to future-proof their careers where they can.
Many are crafting customized majors, blending different disciplines to create degrees that align with an ever-changing job market that champions adaptability.
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