#349. Jobs and Education Requirements

Posted on | The Agurban

Jobs and Education Requirements

The Georgetown Univer­sity Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2018, we will need 22 million new college degrees-but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million post­secondary degrees, Associate’s or better. This shortage is the latest indication of how crucial postsec­ondary education and training has become to the Ameri­can economy.

Meeting this demand is not a challenge we can afford to ignore. Our grandparents’ economy, which promised well-paying jobs for anyone who graduated from high school, is fading and will soon be altogether gone. Between 1973 and 2008, the share of jobs in the U.S. economy which required postsecondary education increased from 28 percent to 59 percent. According to the study, the future promises more of the same. The share of postsecondary jobs will increase from 59 to 63 percent over the next decade. High school graduates and dropouts will find themselves largely left behind in the coming decade as employer demand for workers with postsecondary degrees continues to surge. Consider that, in 1973, there were 25 million jobs available to people with at least some college or better. By 2007 that number ballooned to 91 million jobs.

Postsecondary education provides access to occupations across the economy, while workers with a high school diploma or less are largely limited to three occupational clusters that are either declining or pay low wages, including good and personal services jobs, sales and office support jobs, and blue collar jobs.

Higher education is critical to success in the coming economy. The day when people left high school to go to work in the local industry and then worked their way up is disappearing.

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