January 24, 2024: In response to an open-ended question, 16% of voters say that the primary purpose of a high school education is to prepare kids to enter the workforce. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 37% say the primary purpose of a high school education is to prepare kids for the real world, and 41% that it is to educate kids and prepare them for college.

The survey also found that 77% of voters believe it is more important for a high school education to prepare students for careers than for it to prepare them for college.


The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points. The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on January 10-11, 2024. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of registered voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left nearly a decade ago and has had no involvement since that time.

Survey Questions

In just a few words, please tell me what is the primary purpose of a high school education.

● 41%-Educate kids/Prepare for college

● 37%-Prepare kids for the real world

● 16%-Prepare kids to enter the workforce

● 6%-Other

Is it more important for high schools to prepare students for jobs and careers or to prepare students for college?

● 77%-Jobs and careers

● 17%-College

● 7%-Not sure

Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is a political analyst, author, public speaker, independent public opinion pollster and a columnist. Read Scott Rasmussen’s Reports — More Here.

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