North Carolina is at an important crossroad.

Together, we can set our state on a path to a more prosperous future.

View The Report

The “Skills Gap” Problem

As our economy grows, the vast majority of new jobs require education beyond a high school diploma—but fewer than half of North Carolinians ages 25-44 have a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential. And North Carolinians from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately affected; far fewer earn postsecondary credentials than students with greater economic stability. The attainment rate also varies—sometimes significantly so—by race and ethnicity. While Asian and white residents consistently outpace the state attainment average, Black, Hispanic, and Native residents consistently fall below that average.

The result? Our education system and our economy are out of sync. Job seekers struggle to find jobs, and employers struggle to find the talent they need to fill openings. If we stay on the trajectory projected in 2019 of increased degrees and credentials, by 2030, North Carolina will still fall short by at least 400,000 individuals with the skills needed to fill our state's projected jobs' needs.

1/2
of NC employers

need more hire-able workers

67%
of jobs in NC

are projected to require a high-quality postsecondary degree by 2020

49%
of North Carolinians

ages 25-44 have completed that level of education

The Way Forward

We're on a mission to completely close the educational attainment gap in North Carolina.

Making that happen starts with an ambitious goal: ensuring that by 2030, 2 million North Carolinians have a postsecondary degree or credential—more than doubling projected growth over the next 10 years.

This is one of the highest targets in the South and will put us on par with the highest-achieving states in the country. With this goal as our guidepost, we will address the needs of our employers, equip local communities to take action, and open up new opportunities for our citizens.

The extensive work done to date and the way forward would not be possible without the strong cross-sector coordination between myFutureNC, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the community college system, the UNC System, independent educational institutions, and the State Board of Education, among many others.

Our Goal
2 Million

high-quality, postsecondary degrees or credentials by 2030

(as of today, there are 1.3 Million)

Why Now?

As of 2016, about 1.3 million 25- to 44-year-old North Carolinians had a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential. Without any changes, North Carolina is projected to have about 1.6 million adults who meet the attainment definition in 2030, which means the state will need to help an estimated 400,000 additional residents attain a high-quality postsecondary credential or degree for our state to meet the demands of our businesses and industries. We must act.

Less than 1/2
of North Carolinians

ages 25-44 complete higher education

1/4

of 4-year college students don’t complete their degree

39%
of North Carolinians

report they have not reached their desired level of education

2/3

of 2-year college students don’t complete their degree

What We're Doing

If we achieve our goal, we can ensure our citizens are prepared to succeed and our communities are poised to thrive.

It's our responsibility—as education, business, and civic leaders; parents and students; community members and elected representatives—to ensure all North Carolinians are ready for the future. A growing list of cross-sector community leaders and organizations, as well as our state's elected officials, have stepped up to make this goal a priority, and we look forward to working with them to support excellence in every corner of our state.

And to work more effectively across the business, education, and workforce sectors to help 2 million North Carolinians achieve high-quality postsecondary attainment by 2030, myFutureNC officially transitioned from a commission to a nonprofit organization in the summer of 2019. The work of the myFutureNC Commission will continue to support this work as an Advisory Board of Commissioners, providing real-world insights and expertise about the challenges of improvements to postsecondary attainment across the state.

myFutureNC:

  • Engages local, regional, and statewide stakeholders to communicate the need for both greater educational attainment and deeper economic alignment.
  • Better aligns and coordinates systems to support students at all levels, from pre-K education through high-quality certificate, associate, and higher-degree programs.
  • Catalyzes innovative, effective ideas and identifies best practices that can be applied to cities, towns, and rural areas across North Carolina.
  • Monitors progress to improve our efforts each and every year.
94%

of North Carolinians say it’s important for adults to have education beyond high school

70%

of North Carolinians agree that having education beyond high school is essential for getting a good job

81%

of North Carolinians agree that a good job is essential to having a high quality of life

Join Our Efforts

myFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit organization focused on educational attainment and is a result of the collaboration between North Carolina leaders in education, business, and government. myFutureNC was created to work toward a stronger, more competitive North Carolina—one that empowers individuals, strengthens communities, and boosts our economy. Join us. Contribute your knowledge, your insight, and your passion. Help champion success for our state and all of its people.

READ THE CALL TO ACTION REPORT