A new report shows that the number of Alabama college students earning a diploma grew by about 7,000 in the past five years.
Information released by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education shows that between 2007-2008 and 2012-2013, more than 47,000 Alabama students completed a college degree or certificate of some sort.
With regard to the growth in diplomas, about 2,000 were associate degrees, 3,000 were bachelor’s degrees, 400 were master’s degrees, 300 were doctoral degrees and the remainder were diplomas and other certificates.
According to ACHE numbers, the most popular majors were registered nursing (4,804 students), general studies (3,385 students), business administration and management (2,392 students), elementary education (1,396 students) and accounting (1,229 students).
Dianne Sherman, director of research services for ACHE, said the increasing importance of higher education to the job market is helping to drive the growth in Alabamians seeking degrees.
Recent studies show a massive gap between the unemployment rate for people with college degrees and those without a college education. In July, the unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree was 3.8 percent, while the rate for high school graduates who did not attend college was 7.6 percent.
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