Big Goal Status Infographic

By 2020, approximately 66 percent of all jobs in Missouri will require some form of higher education.

In 2011, the state set a big goal, for 60 percent of working-age adults in Missouri to have a certificate or degree by 2025.


Missouri is making progress toward meeting this goal. In 2019, the state is sitting at 53.7 percent.

Since 2011, Missouri’s higher education institutions have increased efforts to improve completion rates for all students, both independently and in partnership with the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development and other organizations. Much of this work takes significant time to show measurable impact on graduation rates.


Several factors drive this measure, including in- and out-migration, an aging population, a decline in the number of high school graduates and college enrollment, and changes in postsecondary completion rates. Many institutions, however, graduated more students in 2018 than they did in 2011, and overall the number of students graduating from Missouri colleges and universities has increased by about 11.6 percent from 2011 to 2018. The largest increases have occurred at community and technical colleges, which graduated 26 percent more students in 2018 than 2011, and public universities, which graduated 18.6 percent more students in the same time period. Private institutions’ graduation numbers increased as well, with the total number increasing .06 percent between 2011 and 2018.

In addition to increasing the raw number of graduates, many institutions have made significant advances in improving graduation rates.


Read more about the Big Goal in the December 2019 Board Book item.