"Workforce Education at Green River was VERY instrumental in allowing me to go back to school, and I'm grateful for all the assistance I received and continue to receive." - Genie L, Green River Student

"Make sure you talk to Workforce Education...They can help in many ways to make things go smoothly and make sense." - Chris S, Green River Student

"Workforce Education...will embrace you and lend a helping hand with open hearts." Elsie Q, Green River Student

"Workforce Education has been there for me since day one!" - Jenny S, Green River student

Jun 1, 2010

Tipping Point Research

You may be asking yourself, 'why go back to school?'  If you look hard enough, you might eventually find a job. However, most new jobs and the majority of jobs that pay a wage that is sufficient to support a family, require at least some education beyond high school. A research study called the "Tipping Point" was conducted in April of 2005 by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.  The study examined the educational achievements and the employment earnings of a cohort of students five years after they first enrolled in a community college. Here are some of the more salient results from the study:

  • Individuals who went through community college occupational degree programs were eight percent more likely to be employed and they earned over $4,400 per year more on average that did similar individuals in the Washington labor force who did not enroll in any training program.
  • Not only do workers with at least a year of college and a credential earn substantially more, they are also in higher demand among employers.
  • Short term training (1-2 quarters) without receiving a credential, may help individuals get into the labor market, but it usually does not help them advance beyond low paying jobs. Adult basic education classes and/or a limited number of college level classes do not provide much benefit in terms of employment or earnings.
  • Students who start with a plan to attend college for a year or longer were more successful than students who did not know upon enrollment how long they would attend.
In sum, the Tipping Point Research Study confrms that education and training have the power to transform the quality of one's life - it shows that earning a professional technical certificate (equivalent to 3 quarters of full time study) can provide a significant earnings advantage compared with those with just some college but no degree. 

But in attending college you need to have a plan before you begin.  Investigate the different types of degrees and certificates offered at Green River Community College, and read about the kind of jobs you might qualify for once you finish the degree or certificate. Once you decide on a training program, plan out how long it will take you to finish it.  The more you plan, the more successful you will be.

To read the Tipping Point Research Study in full click here (it's relatively short, weighing in at about 6 pages).