The Class of 2016 is in demand

Friday, May 13th, 2016

"What comes next?" can be a vexing question for new graduates. It seems everyone wants to know.

After all, commencement isn't just the celebration of a major accomplishment, it is a beginning.

This week, 24,000 students are graduating from one of Arizona's outstanding public universities and marking their own new beginning. More than 17,000 undergraduate degrees and more than 6,000 graduate degrees are being awarded at commencement ceremonies this week throughout Arizona. 

Of course, none of us can know the course our life will take. With their college degree in hand, however, the Class of 2016 is more capable than ever to succeed and keep a good job to support themselves and their families, no matter what path they take.

The knowledge and real-world skills gained in college gives  graduates the ability to think and respond in ways that contribute to the advancement of our society, and to improve the lives of others around them. Because of their college education, the Class of 2016 undoubtedly has a wider array of future choices from which to select and their training makes them more nimble in their ability to respond dynamically to change and uncertainty.

With economic success increasingly tied to postsecondary education, the Class of 2016 also is better positioned to avoid some economic adversities altogether, as well as contribute to a workforce and local economy that becomes stronger because of their pursuit of higher education.

Economists project that knowledge-based jobs are quickly emerging as the economic drivers of Arizona's future. In just two years, two-thirds of all jobs will require a postsecondary degree - underscoring the need for more individuals with higher levels of learning.

In other words, our graduates are in demand. Whatever comes next, they are prepared.

Please join me in congratulating Arizona's 24,000 newest college graduates!

By the Numbers -- Arizona Public University Enterprise Spring 2016 Commencement





Bachelor's degrees




Graduate degrees