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Report Forecasts Educated Worker Shortage by 2018

June 16, 2010 – Without a dramatic change in course, U.S. employers will face a drought of 3 million workers who possess the education and training necessary to fill jobs by 2018, according to a new Georgetown University report.

The Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) released Help Wanted: Projecting Jobs and Education Requirements, which attributes the future shortfall of eligible workers to a growing disconnect, as the economy slowly recovers, between the types of jobs employers need to fill and numbers of Americans who have the education and training to fill the jobs.

“America needs more workers with college degrees, certificates and industry certifications,” said Anthony Carnevale, research professor and director of CEW, a research center at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. “If we don’t address this need now, millions of jobs could go offshore.”

The study forecasts that 63 percent of all jobs will require at least some postsecondary education, and analyzes job creation and education requirements through most of the next decade – broken down nationally by industry and occupation along with state-by-state forecasts.

The District of Columbia, North Dakota, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Colorado will lead the nation in total jobs requiring postsecondary education, while Texas, California, Nevada, Mississippi, and Arizona will lead the nation in the share of total jobs for high school dropouts.

“The shift from an industrial to a services economy is the essential divide between states with workforces with high concentrations and low concentrations of jobs for educated talent,” said Carnevale.

The report also forecasts the fastest growing six industries that will require the highest levels of education. By 2018, 75-90 percent of jobs requiring postsecondary education or training will come from the following fields: information services; private education services; government and public education services; financial services; professional and business services and healthcare services.

Postsecondary education and training determine access to the middle class, but what matters most is the occupation for which you prepare. According to the report, that is why 27 percent of people with certificates and 31 percent of people with A.A. degrees earn more than the average B.A.

“The report maps the pathways of postsecondary certificates and degrees leading to occupations that provide middle class earnings,” said Carnevale.

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