The term “upper secondary education” is a general term for education that takes place after the completion of primary school, but before the completion of university. The system varies by country, but typically includes courses in general studies, and vocational or technical training.
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What is upper secondary education?
Upper secondary education, sometimes called postsecondary education, is the education that people receive after they have completed high school. In most cases, upper secondary education takes place at a college or university, but it can also take place at a trade school or other type of institute. Upper secondary education is important because it can lead to better jobs and higher salaries. It can also help people to develop important skills and knowledge that they will need in their careers.
The benefits of upper secondary education
What are the benefits of upper secondary education?
Upper secondary education helps people develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the workforce. It can also lead to higher earnings, better job prospects, and improved health. 
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), countries with higher percentages of adults aged 25-64 who have completed upper secondary education tend to have higher levels of economic growth and productivity.  In Canada, 86% of adults aged 25-64 had completed upper secondary education in 2015, compared to an OECD average of 77%. 
In addition to the economic benefits, upper secondary education can also lead to improved health outcomes. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of education are more likely to enjoy good health and live longer than those with lower levels of education.  They are also less likely to smoke, and more likely to eat healthy diets and exercise regularly.
The challenges of upper secondary education
Upper secondary education presents many challenges for students, educators, and policy-makers. In this chapter, we examine some of the key indicators of upper secondary education in Canada and compare them with those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. We also identify some areas where Canada could improve its performance.
The different types of upper secondary education
Upper secondary education covers the final stage of compulsory education in most countries and is a bridge between primary education and tertiary education. It usually starts at age 15-16 and ends at age 18-19. In some countries, upper secondary education includes vocational education and training (VET), which leads directly to employment.
There are different types of upper secondary education, which cater to different needs and abilities of students. The most common types are:
-General academic programmes, which prepare students for tertiary education;
-Vocational programmes, which prepare students for specific occupations;
-Mixed academic and vocational programmes, which prepare students for both tertiary education and specific occupations;
-Other programmes, such as arts or sports programmes.
The importance of upper secondary education
In todayufffds economy, a high-quality education is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity for success. A well-educated workforce is critical for attracting investment and sustaining economic growth. For individuals, a good education can lead to better jobs, higher incomes, and improved health and well-being.
Upper secondary education plays a key role in providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in todayufffds economy. In many countries, it is the last stage of formal schooling and the gateway to further study or training. It also provides an important opportunity for young people to develop the social and emotional skills they need to transition into adulthood.
Despite the importance of upper secondary education, not all young people have access to high-quality programs. In some countries, Dropout rates are still high, and many students do not have the opportunity to learn important skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. As a result, too many young people are not prepared for the challenges of todayufffds world.
The OECDufffds Education at a Glance chapter on ufffdIndicators of Upper Secondary Education Systemsufffd provides an overview of how upper secondary education systems vary across OECD countries. The chapter includes indicators on:
-Eligibility requirements for upper secondary education;
The role of upper secondary education in society
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the role of upper secondary education in society. This is due in part to the fact that many countries are now facing the challenge of how to provide opportunities for all young people to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in a global economy.
Upper secondary education plays an important role in preparing young people for employment and further education, and it can also help them develop the skills and competencies they need to participate fully in society. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that upper secondary education can have a positive impact on individuals, families and communities.
The OECDufffds Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is one of the most widely used measures of educational achievement. PISA provides data on the performance of 15-year-olds in key academic areas such as reading, mathematics and science. PISA also includes measures of studentsufffd attitudes towards learning, their engagement with school, and their perceptions of their own capabilities.
PISA results show that students who attend upper secondary education perform better on average than those who do not. In addition, students from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to benefit more from upper secondary education than those from more privileged backgrounds.
The OECDufffds Education at a Glance report providesa detailed picture of the state of education in OECD countries. The report includes indicators on a wide range of topics, including access to education, educational attainment, financing of education, teaching conditions and educational outcomes.
The future of upper secondary education
Upper secondary education is the key to ensuring that all young people can develop their skills and talents to the fullest. It is also essential for preparing them for successful transitions into further education and training, and into the world of work.
In recent years, there have been significant changes in the way upper secondary education is structured and delivered in many countries. These changes have been driven by a number of factors, including technological change, the globalisation of economies, and changing labour markets.
As a result of these changes, upper secondary education is now undergoing a process of transformation. This transformation is having a profound impact on the future of upper secondary education.
The impact of technology on upper secondary education
Upper secondary education is the second stage of formal learning that takes place after primary education. It usually lasts for three years and leads to the award of a certificate or diploma.
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of upper secondary education in preparing young people for further study and training, and for the world of work. However, there are still large numbers of young people who do not complete upper secondary education, and many who do so without acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to participate fully in society.
The impact of technology on upper secondary education is one of the key topics addressed in this chapter. The use of technology can potentially increase access to upper secondary education, improve the quality of teaching and learning, and make it more relevant to the needs of students and employers.
The global perspective of upper secondary education
Upper secondary education, or the last stage of compulsory education, is critical for ensuring that all young people can develop the skills they need to participate fully in society and the economy. In the span of just a few years, upper secondary students make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to enter tertiary education or the workforce.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has been collecting data on upper secondary education since 1965, and publishes an annual report Education at a Glance. This chapter provides an overview of upper secondary education in OECD countries, with a focus on recent trends. It draws on data from the latest edition of Education at a Glance, as well as other OECD publications.
In most OECD countries, upper secondary education starts at age 15 or 16. Depending on the country, students attend either general programmes that prepare them for further study or vocational programmes that give them specific skills for a trade or profession. Students usually study full-time for three or four years to earn a diploma.
In general, OECD countries have made good progress in expanding access to upper secondary education. The share of 25-34 year-olds with an upper secondary qualification has increased from 39% in 1995 to 60% in 2015. Among 25-64 year-olds, the share with an upper secondary qualification has increased from 44% to 63% over the same period. However, some groups are still at a disadvantage: while 86% of young adults from high-income households have an upper secondary qualification, this figure is only 54% for those from low-income households.
There are large differences across countries in how much time adults spend in formal educational activities. On average across OECD countries, adults aged 25-64 spend 562 hours per year engaged in some form of formal educational activity (including both school and non-school activities). This figure ranges from a high of 1 048 hours per year in Iceland to a low of just over 300 hours per year in Hungary and Greece.”
The importance of research in upper secondary education
Research plays an important role in upper secondary education. It helps to improve the quality of education, and can be used to develop new or innovative teaching methods. It can also be used to assess the effectiveness of existing educational programs.