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Training Completion

Common Barriers to Enrolling in Longer-Term Training

Given research on the returns to education,1 we asked employment counselors and program managers about longer-term training. After defining longer-term training as training that may last a few weeks, a few months, or even longer, we asked what the most common barriers were for participants interested enrolling in this type of training.

Outcomes Data on Training Completion

Multiple professionals in the field told us about the effectiveness of on-the-job training, which is employer-provided training in exchange of a partial wage reimbursement. Indeed, participants who engage in this type of training do tend to see more consistent employment retention. This can be especially effective for a participant with barriers who would be too risky a hire without this incentive.

Bear in mind when interpreting these graphs that participants who do not engage in training through the program may already have a Bachelor's degree or higher.

STEP 3: Select any combination of educational attainment and geographic region.

Median Yearly Income Change

Percent Consistently Employed One Year

Median Annual Income After Program Exit

Training Completion PollChart


Additional Information on Outcomes Data by Training Completion

Participants in Dislocated Worker and Adult may engage in any of a number of different types of training, from English language or basic computer classes to coursework toward a postsecondary degree. These figures show average outcomes among four groups:

  • Participants who completed on-the-job training or other customized training
  • Participants who completed credentialed training in an occupation in demand
  • Participants who completed any other training, including short-term training not resulting in a credential
  • Participants who did not complete any training

Strategies Related to Training Completion

Professionals in the field were very descriptive when asked to list common barriers to enrolling in long-term training, specifically when it came to the financial burden that long-term training places on participants. Overall, strategies to address these barriers were not as well outlined, but those that were are highlighted below.


1 Among others, see:

  • Tamborini, C., et al., "Education and Lifetime Earnings in the United States," Demography 52 (2015): n. pag. Web., June 23, 2015.
  • Bahr, P.R., et al., "From College to Jobs: Making Sense of Labor Market Returns to Higher Education," The Apsen Institute, April 2015.
  • Abel, J. and Deitz, R., "Do the Benefits of College Still Outweigh the Costs?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance 20.3 (2014): 1-12.
  • Carnevale, A.P., Rose, S.J., and Cheah, B., "The College Payoff: Education, Occupation, and Lifetime Earnings," The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 2013.
  • Hout, M., "Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States," Annual Review of Sociology 38 (2012): 379-400.
  • Dickson, M. and Harmon, C., "Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don't Know, and Where We Are Going - Some Brief Pointers," Economics of Education Review 30.6 (2011): 1118-1122.
  • Brand, J. and Xie, Y., "Who Benefits Most from College? Evidence for Negative Selection in Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Higher Education," American Sociological Review 75.2 (2010): 273-302.

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