2022 North Carolina State of Educational Attainment Report

North Carolina’s talent pipeline is in a state of emergency.

To ensure North Carolina remains economically competitive now and into the future, in 2019, with bipartisan support in the General Assembly the state of North Carolina adopted one of the most ambitious goals in the nation–to have 2 million North Carolinians ages 25-44 hold an industry-valued credential or postsecondary degree by 2030. myFutureNC is the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization responsible for monitoring progress and accelerating action and good policies in support of North Carolina’s Educational Attainment Goal of 2 million by 2030.

North Carolina’s State of Educational Attainment Report approved by myFutureNC’s Board of Directors on August 9, 2022 reports data for 18 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in four key transition areas: academic readiness, college and career access, postsecondary completion, and labor-market alignment.

The data shows that while some metrics are trending in the right direction, the majority are flatlined or lagging. The good news is… there is a path forward. We have just released the 2022 North Carolina’s State of Educational Attainment Report which celebrates success stories across the state, and forecasts needs and solutions. Read the Executive Summary here.

Download the report here.

1 in every 9 16-to-24 year olds are not in school or working.

Needs Forecast 1: Career Planning

Our state’s education systems must deliver learning experiences that meet students’ interests and provide pathways to success. We know that students are most engaged when they can see firsthand the real-world application of their knowledge and skills. All North Carolina middle and high school students deserve the opportunity to engage in well-guided career planning to ensure that every student has the resources they need to envision their future.

An average of 9,500 students drop out of high school each year.

Needs Forecast 2: Raise the Dropout Age

Our state is one of only 15 that allows students to drop out at age 16 and has the nation’s shortest required attendance span. Raising the high school dropout age from age 16 to 18 would better encourage and prioritize high school graduation.

Almost half of North Carolinians do not earn a family-sustaining wage. Community college enrollment is down 13% from pre-pandemic numbers.

Needs Forecast 3: Scholarships for Short-Term Training & Higher-Wage Careers

In North Carolina, jobs requiring a short-term credential or some college will increase by 8.1% by 2028, yet community college enrollment remains down from pre-pandemic levels. Those who need training most cannot afford it; federal Pell grants and state need-based grants do not cover required training for many trades and short-term credentials. Providing last-dollar scholarships to those pursuing short-term credentials will encourage enrollment and provide economic opportunity.

Download the report here.

To Endorse, Partner, or Donate

If your organization would like to consider endorsing the state’s goal, partnering, or donating towards this important work, contact us at