2018 Job Projections Show Need for Postsecondary Education

Without a dramatic change in how our nation prepares individuals for the workforce and to obtain necessary postsecondary education, the nation will fall dramatically short in cultivating a workforce to fulfill demand, according to a recent report by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 projects that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require a degree in higher education, leaving only 37 percent of jobs to individuals who did not finish high school or did not go on to college.

This report — authored by Anthony P. Carnevale, Nichole Smith and Jeff Strohl — underscores why we must ensure that students are equipped to enter into this competitive workforce in which postsecondary education and training will be requirements for a middle class job. CTE can provide support in this area by offering students the opportunity to obtain training and skills and a postsecondary degree.  These credentials will allow individuals to gain a competitive edge that will make them more desirable in the current and future job market.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Individuals with only a high school diploma are “largely limited to three occupational clusters that are either declining or pay low wages.” These sectors are food and personal service, sales and office support, and blue collar
  • By 2018 the U.S. economy will need 22 million workers with college degrees but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million degrees
  • The United States will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary certificates
  • America’s colleges and universities would need to increase the number of degrees they award by 10 percent annually to meet the demand
  • In order to achieve the President’s goal of being first in the world in postsecondary degrees by 2020 would require an additional 8.2 million postsecondary gradu­ates and would cost $158 billion by state and federal governments

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