Closing the digital divide and increasing access to online education supports workforce development across the country.

Addressing the digital divide’s effects on education and the workforce

Closing the digital divide and increasing access to online education supports workforce development across the country

Additionally, many people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic are seeking ways to return to school to broaden their opportunities or begin a new career path. However, the loss of income sources adds an additional layer of difficulty to affording broadband internet, which is required for online learners.

In addition, most jobs in the U.S. require a bachelor’s degree (75 percent), while only 40 percent of potential applicants have one. For adult learners or those with barriers to education access (time, location, cost or other), earning a degree online is the only option to leveling up their employment status. How many could earn or finish their education if they had access to high-speed internet? It should be widely understood that online resources are required to re-tool and upskill, and high-speed internet access is a non-negotiable in that effort.

Higher education institutions are limited in their ability to expand access to education to those who would benefit most if equitable internet access isn’t addressed. To address these personal, educational, economic, and workforce development needs, there needs to be a baseline level of accessibility for all. Overall, the digital divide crisis will certainly affect our country’s future workforce if equal access to reliable internet isn’t addressed. It’s time for leaders – in public and private sectors – and communities to collaborate and invest in digital infrastructure that benefits individuals pursuing an online education and looking to boost career readiness.

By closing the digital divide and increasing access to online education, we in turn support workforce development in communities across the country. Economic growth starts with the investment and growth of individuals through education and skilling up.

Leaders everywhere must be more vocal about equal access to broadband internet and support actionable efforts to find solutions to shrink the country-wide digital divide.

Free internet could erase the digital divide
How computer science education bridges the digital divide

Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.