About 23% of Louisiana adults have at least a four year degree, according to a new report from the finance website 24/7 Wall Street. That’s 8 percentage points below the national average. Demographer Greg Rigamer says Louisiana’s lower than average household creates financial obstacles for people seeking degrees.
“People who are struggling have to address the immediate concerns, and while college is very important, there are priorities that some families have that just trump that,” Rigamer said.
The report also found New Orleans has the highest concentration of college grads in the state at nearly 29%. Rigamer also contributes the low rate of four year degrees, to Louisiana’s public education system, as well as the kinds of job opportunities in the state.
“When you look at the kind of jobs that Louisiana offers, we don’t have a lot of corporate jobs. We don’t have a lot of jobs that really require college degrees,” Rigamer said.
Rigamer says people may not be as enthusiastic about
getting degrees because there are not many major white-collar corporations in
Louisiana as there are good paying blue collar jobs.
"Where do you go to work? Well you might have a better job at one of the plants or something like that than you do for a place that requires college education,” Rigamer said.