Margaret Waters. Higher education is a powerful driver of long-term growth. Evidence shows that economies with higher numbers of graduates in their population also have higher economic growth. In other words, as well as being a profitable choice for the individual, investment in higher education is profitable for the economy as a whole and its capacity to improve living conditions.
Europe needs to expand the number of people who have qualifications at higher levels. While the number of low-skilled posts in the European economy is predicted to decline by around 20% in the decade up to 2020 and medium-skill jobs will increase by 5%, demand for higher education graduates is set to increase by 20%. This amounts to around 35% of all jobs requiring higher education qualifications, compared to 29% in 2010. Only 26% of the current EU workforce has such a high-level qualification.
Upskilling is not just something that allows people to get a better job: it is also what enables them to shape the jobs of the future, and thus to actively contribute to an innovative economy.