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August 24, 2017

Just over half of all workers in Massachusetts now hold a college degree, marking the first time any state has reached that threshold. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which did the study, says Massachusetts has the best-educated workforce and the highest median wages in the U.S.

Noah Berger, president of the research organization that focuses on state policy issues, points out that back in 1979 only a fifth of the state's workforce had a college degree.

"Today it's 50 percent. That growth has also been greater than any other state in the country,” Berger said. “Not coincidentally, we've had some of the strongest wage growth in the country over that period of time."

Berger says more educated workers makes the state’s job market extremely competitive, as employers look for people with a college degree even for jobs that in the past didn't require one.

Nationwide, only 35 percent of workers hold a four-year degree.

Last month, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that while there is a growing number of jobs that require at least some education beyond high school, workers without a bachelor’s degree still make up 64 percent of the country’s workforce.

Earlier: No Bachelor’s Degree? No Problem – 30M Jobs in the US Require Less Than a BA

higher ed, global competitiveness, Massachusetts

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