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CTE Research Review: New Georgetown Report Projects Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020

Research Image_6.2013Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce just released an update of its widely-cited 2010 report, Help Wanted. The updated report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, includes projections for two additional years – 2019 and 2020 – and provides pertinent labor market information such as which fields are expected to create the most jobs, the education requirements required to gain employment in the United States, and the skills demanded most by employers. A state report was also released.

New findings include:

  • There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to baby boom retirements.
  • 35 percent of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree, and 36 percent of the job openings will require a high school diploma or less.
  • STEM, Healthcare, and Community Services will be areas of fastest growth but also will require higher levels of postsecondary education.
  • The United States will fall short by 5 million workers with postsecondary education – at the current production rate – by 2020.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its annual analysis containing data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in more than 40 countries. This year’s study finds that the gap between those with some postsecondary education and those without is widening, with unemployment rates three times higher for those who haven’t graduated high school.

As OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria noted, “Leaving school with good qualifications is more essential than ever. Countries must focus efforts on helping young people, especially the less well-educated who are most at risk of being trapped in a low skills, low wage future. Priorities include reducing school dropout rates and investing in skills-oriented education that integrates the worlds of learning and work.”

The report found that countries with high percentages of “vocational graduates,” such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, experienced lower unemployment rates for 25-34 year olds in this category than high school graduates. Unfortunately, data for the United States were not included in this portion of the report. The report also found that more young women than ever, 45 percent, are graduating from secondary vocational programs. In many countries – such as Australia, China, Finland, and Belgium, vocational graduation rates are higher for women than for men.

Kara Herbertson, Research and Policy Manager

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