New research paper: Demand for college-educated workers will rise by 16 percent by 2018.

Here is yet another paper on the impending shortage of college-educated workers, released on Wednesday by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

The paper looks at each state’s jobs in 2008 and projects what the job needs will be in 2018.

In 2018, Georgia will have 306,000 more jobs requiring postsecondary education than it does now, from 2,523,000 jobs to 2,830,000 jobs.

The paper also lists unemployment rates by level of education in each state. In Georgia, the unemployment rate for someone without a high school degree is 16.9.

With a high school degree, the unemployment rate is 11.7.

The unemployment rate for Georgia workers with college degrees is 5.8. For those with graduate or professional degrees, the unemployment rate is 3.6.

From the release:

The paper, Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College, finds that over the next decade, there will be no national growth in the number of high school graduates, and some states will see the number of high school graduates decline by as much as 18 to 20 percent. The report includes state-by-state projections of the number of high school graduates through 2020. It finds that the flow of young workers into the workforce is drying up, especially in states in the Midwest and New England such as Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

By 2018 the demand for college-educated workers will rise 16 percent, while demand for other workers will stay flat.  At the same time, nearly two-thirds of jobs in 2018 will require some postsecondary education or training. Leading the nation in job openings requiring postsecondary education are Massachusetts, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state, and the District of Columbia.

“The country’s economic competitiveness rests on more people accessing postsecondary education and credentials,” said Patrick Kelly, a senior associate at NCHEMS and coauthor of the report. “And with the aging of our population and decline in number of recent high school graduates entering college and the workforce, we need to make sure even more adults and nontraditional students have the skills they need to fill tomorrow’s jobs.”

“Our public policies have an important role to play by making postsecondary education more accessible for adult and nontraditional students, including by protecting funding for federal aid, especially Pell Grants, and improving policies to expand access and completion for an undergraduate population that looks much different today than 20 years ago,” said Vickie Choitz, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.

While research projects adult enrollment in college will grow twice as fast as enrollments by traditional age students, it’s important to note nontraditional students already are a significant percent of the college population: 36 percent of undergraduates are age 25 or older, 47 percent are considered “independent” from their parents , 23 percent of undergraduates are parents, and 40 percent are low-income.  The changing student population has different needs from traditional students.

“It is critical that federal student aid be responsive to the needs of adults who often must juggle work, family and school responsibilities and who are on their own financially,” the report states.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

59 comments Add your comment

www.honeyfern.org

June 23rd, 2011
6:12 am

Now is a good time for college; there are programs that make it more accessible than ever. However, I think we can no longer afford to ignore (or count as second-rate) skilled trades, especially the more forward-looking ones (electric car mechanics and solar panel installers?). Not everybody wants to go to college, and you shouldn’t have to go to make a good living, but there is honor (and money!!) in skilled trades, too!

John Konop

June 23rd, 2011
6:19 am

This is a terrible study in my opinion. It is way to generic and not focused on the value of what type of degree. We have seen numerous studies showing depending on the major a vocational degree not only pays more but has better outlook on jobs. About any technical oriented vocational degree would have a much better out look than a psychology, English…….

One size fit all logic like this is how we got into this failed No Child Left Behind dogma of thought. It seems the education establishment money machine puts out garbage like this that promotes an agenda over solving real issues.

For example:

We have testing studies that compare one test to another with different cut scores

We have drop out rate studies that does not count kids

We have people fired over putting out cheating issues yet the data is still used.

I could go on and on………..You cannot solve a problem unless we are all honest about the issues and stop spinning the data.

MisterRog

June 23rd, 2011
6:19 am

I agree with Honeyfern”…. “Not everybody wants to go to college, and you shouldn’t have to go to make a good living, but there is honor (and money!!) in skilled trades, too!”

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs recent gave a great testimony regarding the need to revitalize the skilled trades.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h_pp8CHEQ0

redweather

June 23rd, 2011
6:22 am

John Konop: If you are going to advocate for vocational school degrees, you could at least write grammatically correct sentences. It would lend more credence to your claims.

John Konop

June 23rd, 2011
6:28 am

redweather,

It is good thing for me, the business world pays better than being an English major. I focus on the donut not the hole. Think about it.

BTW putting me down does not change the facts.

Jerry Eads

June 23rd, 2011
7:51 am

Maybe. This piece is put out by a ‘think tank’ that CLEARLY has self-interest in the outcome. I’d like them to be right, I guess – this statistics Ph.D. likes to eat – but what I don’t see at least in your summary (I didn’t go read the paper) is any attempt to differentiate all the “high school graduate” types – there are those who can’t even read and have no additional training or expertise, all the way to highly skilled IT professionals who make the country run yet have absolutely no use or need whatseoever for a “college degree.”

Let’s see someone honestly study the differences among college and non-college professions as well as the gross differentiations made here and see what that looks like.

By the way, the kinds of projections they’re making are VERY, VERY tenuous. It sounds like they are WAY overstepping the strength of the methods. The statistical tools we have to make these guesses they way they did it are kinda like using a shotgun as a sniper rifle. You’d hope to hit the target a thousand yards out, but really the tool you have is only good for about 50 feet.

BigDawg

June 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

This is one of many studies proving the value of a college degree or advanced college degree. Other studies point out the earning differential based upon higher education. There is a growing need for better compensation for college professors, especially given that over the last five years the pay raises have been essentially 0% for this profession.

www.honeyfern.org

June 23rd, 2011
8:34 am

Progressive Humanist

June 23rd, 2011
8:43 am

John Konop,

Why do you lump psychology in with English? Psychology is a science, not a liberal art, and psychologists average more than 80k a year, with many earning upwards of 150k. Job growth in the field is expected to rise as well. I think you may be confused by having worshiped too long to the business god. (btw, I have degrees in both fields, and relatively early in my career I’m at about 70k, below average for a psychologist but I’m just getting started in that career.)

Dr. Phil

June 23rd, 2011
8:44 am

There is public and private money available to assist college students in fulfilling the goal of a college education. However, much of this is wasted on students who do not have the motivation or ability to complete a degree program. Universities have maintained realistic admission standards, however two and four year colleges in Georgia and elsewhere essentially have open admission that provides windfall tuition payments and enrollment figures with miniscule retention and graduation figures. Institutions and college presidents must be held accountable for graduation rates and quality of education. Both of these areas have declined significantly under relaxed and open enrollment policies for two and four year public colleges.

Old South

June 23rd, 2011
8:47 am

There isn’t a study, but the richest young people are skipping the teaching machine and starting companies. Higher Ed is a good biz, but wikipedia gives a much better and thorough education.

NTLB

June 23rd, 2011
8:51 am

College is not for everyone, and everyone should not go to college. The college graduation rate for most students is less than 50%. And I agree, the most successful and richest persons I know, don’t have college degrees, but have their own businesses/companies.

John Konop

June 23rd, 2011
8:59 am

PH,

Your question:

….Why do you lump psychology in with English? Psychology is a science, not a liberal art, and psychologists average more than 80k a year, with many earning upwards of 150k……

Just the facts:

……Petroleum engineering majors make about $120,000 a year, compared with $29,000 annually for counseling psychology majors, researchers found. Math and computer science majors earn $98,000 in salary while early childhood education majors get paid about $36,000.

“It’s important that you go to college and get a (bachelor’s degree), but it’s almost three to four times more important what you take,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce. “The majors that are most popular are not the ones that make the most money.”……

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/new-study-tells-students-955681.html

A Conservative Voice

June 23rd, 2011
9:12 am

This sounds like a study that Arne Duncan would put his signature on. Anybody watch Glenn Beck last night?……Yeah, I know…..stupid question on this blog, but he had a completely different take on the subject than what is presented above. BTW, if I’m not mistaken, Glenn Beck is just a “stupid high school graduate” :)

Ethan

June 23rd, 2011
9:20 am

Your major doesn’t matter if you go to a legitimate school (i.e., top 20 national university or liberal arts college), save for those planning on becoming engineers. Getting into a decent school requires about a 700 on the math section of the SAT, so even humanities majors there have a greater quantitative aptitude than 90 percent of their peers. Plus, unless you’re an options trader, engineer or actuary, you’ll probably never use more than intermediate (high school) algebra in your professional life. As for those touting business degrees, you shouldn’t need classes to learn Excel and basic accounting.

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

How could one not know the value of a college degree? or know that people need to have them? Most job postings require one.
The reality is that if we were actually educating our high school students, there wouldn’t be as much need for people with college degrees (a lot of what one does learn in college one could learn in high school). But we think things like NCLB is the answer. obviously, it is not.

Worried in Cobb

June 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

Look, until we start holding students, parents, and teachers accountable the system will fail. We need to stop social promotion and stop assuming that everyone fits the same mold we will continue to struggle.

Progressive Humanist

June 23rd, 2011
9:38 am

John Konop,

That 29k is not what actual psychologists make. Surely you don’t think that. That’s what someone with a BA makes, but no one with a BA in psychology is a psychologist. You have to have a graduate degree to become a psychologist, and those who do earn on average 80k per year and often more than 150k, like I said. I recently read a study on the issue in a far more reputable publication than the AJC.

That 29k figure is for someone who does an undergrad in psychology and then has to get a job in some unrelated random field because he or she has not put in the extra work to become a psychologist.

Early childhood education majors start at about 36k but can get paid up to about 80k depending on which state they’re in, how long they’ve taught, and whether they’ve earned a higher degree in the meantime (you can check the Georgia payscales, which are public, and Georgia is about in the middle as far as teacher pay.)

The petroleum engineer stat is probably correct, but math and computer engineering vary widely. I’d have to see the methodology before I believed that one.

I think your problem is similar to the problem with the above mentioned study- You’re painting with broad strokes, so broad that your “facts” are distorted and misrepresent what is actually happening. At least I’m hoping that you’re getting lost in generalities, because I want to think you’re smarter than to think that psychologists make 29k a year, which would be pretty humorous.

rosie

June 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

College doesn’t only mean a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Colleges offer certificate, diploma and associates level degrees. This type of college would be the community college in some states and the technical colleges in our state. As a country we need to look at ways to produce our own products and lessen our dependence on other countries for our needs. Our students need a skill when they leave high school, technical school or college.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

June 23rd, 2011
10:00 am

Folks:

Jerry Eads is Jerry Eads, Ph.D., formerly of Georgia Gwinnett College and past president of the Georgia Educational Research Association.

Jerry:

THANKS for adding your most-informed opinions to this blog.

John Konop

June 23rd, 2011
10:02 am

Progressive Humanist ,

The employment figures are based on a ratio of different levels degrees in buckets. If even 25% of all majors in your area got a higher degree in your field than you would have an over supply of people in your field and wages would go down.

Your major is not an economic engine that creates jobs you are on the service end if people can afford your product. You are caught up in the crazy economic dogma that the Clinton and Bush administration with congress both pushed that we can grow the economy not producing and mainly servicing.
Your wages are directly effected long term by production in our economy. If we do not produce more you will see a decline in real wages on a macro. That is why vocational as well as higher degree jobs in production areas are what you should be advocating for if you want the economy to grow.
Nothing against the servicing industry but unless we start producing more than we consume we continue on a long term slide. And the world debt markets will not infuse irrational amounts of capital in our economy to keep the shell game going like they did in the Clinton and Bush years anymore.

Class over today.

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
10:10 am

prog humanist: but he was comparing BA’s to BA’s. For a petroleum engineer you DO NOT need a master’s degree. If you compare MS to MA then you will get something different, I would suppose, with the pet eng. still making a heckuva lot more than the psychologist…

Maureen Downey

June 23rd, 2011
10:11 am

@Dr. Spinks, Let me second that. I appreciate both Jerry’s deep expertise and his warnings to me about the reliability and motivations of studies.
Maureen

Beck

June 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

Ethan – really?

Your major doesn’t matter if you go to one of the Top 20 schools?!?

Do you realize how statistically insignificant the # of graduates from the Top 20 colleges (mostly small and/or private) is compared to the total number of college graduates?!?!

Majors matter, but money (short of supporting oneself) shouldn’t be the be all-end all.

Progressive Humanist

June 23rd, 2011
10:15 am

John Konop,

I think you may need to go back to class. That tirade was completely off topic (and I won’t even get into the incomplete sentences and grammatical errors). I know that anything having to do with education or jobs is going to set off a Tea Party rant by some loon, but none of what you said had anything to do with what we were discussing.

The point is that the study above is too general and doesn’t capture what’s really happening, in much the same way that everything you’ve written is inaccurate because it ignores specifics and real facts (a symptom of Tea Party thinking). Saying that psychologists make 29k because you read it in the AJC is like saying that medicine is a worthless degree to pursue because pre-med majors who don’t actually go on to med school make 36k a year. The reason for going into those fields is not to get a undergrad degree so you can become an account manage and answer phones. In some fields you actually need advanced training before you can hope to gain employment, but once you do, the earnings can be good.

Nuance, context, and some background knowledge can be powerful things. You should try them sometime.

Progressive Humanist

June 23rd, 2011
10:23 am

atlmom,

Comparing BAs to BAs is a worthless comparison and one that’s completely BS. So you think a BS in pre-med is comparable to a BA in engineering? The first could earn nothing without a graduate degree but after completing the higher levels of education would earn more than the engineer. There are quite a few degrees that will not be high earners if you only get a bachelor’s because graduate degrees are necessary in those fields. So it’s simply misleading and intellectually lazy to try to compare the values of certain degrees at the same level. But we can compare what actual psychologists make to what actual engineers make or actual doctors make or actual moms make.

John Konop

June 23rd, 2011
10:41 am

Progressive Humanist

……. Tea Party rant ……..

If you even took the most basic class in economics you would not call what I wrote a Tea Party rant. I am not affiliated with the Tea Party. And I was warning about the economic issues publically way before the Tea Party.

I am not sure my views even line up with the Tea Party. What I have been advocating for years is connecting the realities of the needs of growing the economy with the education system.

And for you not to understand how that relates to this post is a rather juvenile view of the issue.

The fastest way out of this mess is infrastructure investment that will help drive production and decrease are needs for foreign energy sources. That means we need educated kids in the infrastructure end of the economy on the macro not your end to get out of this mess.

That is why a Petroleum Energy with a BA out a college makes more than you with a PHD and experience. That also means we need vocational/tech jobs to support infrastructure projects like wind, roads, rail, bridges………..

Do you get it yet?

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
10:53 am

um, someone with a premed degree has a degree in the sciences (altho i suspect there are many with other degrees, including someone i went to college with who had a degree in math then went to med school).
and they would do better with a BS than someone with an english/psych BA. Just sayin’.

Richard

June 23rd, 2011
11:00 am

Jerry Eads:

“all the way to highly skilled IT professionals who make the country run yet have absolutely no use or need whatseoever for a “college degree.””

Any desire to rethink that statement?

Ethan

June 23rd, 2011
11:19 am

@Beck

Yes, I do realize. There are far too many U.S. colleges, which dilutes the value of degrees, especially in the humanities, from those that have high standards for admission. Why employers would assume a finance or physics major from a school like Georgia State–whose average math SAT score is around 550–is better suited for a quantitative job than an English or philosophy major from a school like Rice–whose average math SAT score is around 740–is beyond me. Perhaps it’s laziness and/or ignorance on the part of HR departments?

Richard

June 23rd, 2011
11:29 am

Ethan,

You can answer that question yourself. Any time you ask a question starting with the word ‘why’ the answer is probably money.

(A Rice grad is more expensive to hire than a Georgia State grad.)

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

um, ethan? they can take english majors for quantitative positions, but then they will certainly not have a good quantitative person. Companies have been trying to put non quant people into quant positions for years ‘to save money’ which is stupid, and they have been getting the results of ‘you get what you pay for.’

Ethan

June 23rd, 2011
11:49 am

@atlmom

Someone with a 740 math SAT score, regardless of major, is by definition a “good quantitative person.”

DawgDad

June 23rd, 2011
12:18 pm

The “real” un-or-under employment rate for college graduates is far higher. These numbers are meaningless.

yuzeyurbrane

June 23rd, 2011
1:19 pm

All this does is add an exclamation mark to the self-destructive trashing of our public university budgets and the HOPE Scholarship Program by Deal and his moronic lackies in the legislature. Deal’s program for public education is his frequent recitation that his parents were public school teachers. More telling is his public comment that he considers free tuition public college education (that is to say, HOPE as we knew it) to be an entitlement program and he is opposed to entitlement programs.

tar and feathers party

June 23rd, 2011
2:09 pm

Yo redweather: I bet a metal cutting machine operator just out of vocational education school can find a job a lot faster than a recent college graduate with a BA in English, or History, or Sociology. You can add Social Work to that list if the stupid government stops hiring those fools, and get the RNs our of government policy making jobs too, send them back to emptying bed pans, where they belong.

tar and feathers party

June 23rd, 2011
2:11 pm

Yo DawgDad, you cannot count uga grads as college graduates, they are best compared to four additional years of high school grads.

tar and feathers party

June 23rd, 2011
2:14 pm

Yo Ethan – A 740 SAT math score is a good starting point, but if college level math and statistics courses are not completed, they are not qualified for a number crunching job. The SAT score just indicated potential, not a finished product.

tar and feathers party

June 23rd, 2011
2:26 pm

YO Progressive Humanist – In the hard sciences, we compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Your BA in psycho babble is best compared to other four year degrees, such as a BS in engineering (there are no BA’s in engineering, perhaps in engineering technology, but that is a lesser degree). You should be comparing a PhD in psychobabble to a PhD in engineering, not to a BS in engineering. I know, you are not a quantitative person, but this is a qualitative issue. Now go pop a zoloft and blog me in the morning about the error of your ways.

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
2:28 pm

thank you tar and feathers. you took the words right out of my mouth. Ethan: considering most employers have NO IDEA how to do quantitative stuff, they probably want to hire someone who knows how to do it. just a thought. not someone who might have aptitude for it, but clearly doesn’t like it, or they would have taken some classes in it…

Ole Guy

June 23rd, 2011
2:38 pm

Good advice, John K. It’s those “hard science” courses that will take the kid places. The so-called “soft degrees”, while they may have fared well in the “good times”, do little more, in today’s market, than make nifty plaques on the wall. Unfortunately, those very “hard science” degrees require the academics which seem to be unpopular in the high school classroom. While there seems to be much thrashing about over Math 1, 2, 3, integrated curricula, etc, ad nauseum, there seems to be little (if any) evidence of the “I can hack it” attitude in both the teacher corps and, ultimately, the younger generations.

Before we break out the college bulletins to determine the best courses of study, perhaps we need to return to those very basic areas: discipline in the schools, both behavioral and application, and, of course, QUALITY education. As we all know, glowing hs grades and HOPE-quality college funding mean absolutely nothing when those very students must take remedials.

Plan ahead for the future, pursue to courses of study which will lead to real, marketable degrees…and don’t forget to wash behind the ears! But let’s not forget those very basics, ’cause without them, in the long run, none of it will really mean much.

A Conservative Voice

June 23rd, 2011
2:46 pm

@Progressive Humanist

June 23rd, 2011
10:15 am
John Konop,

I know that anything having to do with education or jobs is going to set off a Tea Party rant by some loon. It ignores specifics and real facts (a symptom of Tea Party thinking).

You sir need some lessons in diplomacy and diversity.

Dan

June 23rd, 2011
3:02 pm

Interesting that the link to get to the blog says “Demand for College education rising” Yet the blog itself and story discuss the “demand for college educated workers”. Their is a huge distiction here that many miss. To many expect that “going to college” is a step on the ladder to success, and the colleges simply feed that mentality by providing “college” degrees in pretty much whatever students want. In Many cases this diminishes the utility of said degree, degrees are a dime a dozen (well i guess they are a tad more ;o) but students need to educate themselves for a viable career, not simply to get a degree

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
3:11 pm

Well said Dan.

I think the correct headline maybe should read: demand ‘by employers’ for college education ‘in employees’ rising. OR some such…;)

Fletch

June 23rd, 2011
3:20 pm

Why is it that I never see an article written with the headline “Experienced Workers in High Demand”? Everything revolves around the almighty college degree. I’m not downplaying post secondary education, I got my sacred BS over 20 years ago. However, the demand for the degree is rarely consistent with the job function.

For many careers, I think that a degree should be required i.e. Law, Science, Engineering, Medicine etc.. But, where is the tipping point from degree value to experience value?

You can’t honestly tell me that someone that has 25 years in practical business experience should be passed over simply because they didn’t get a degree 25 years ago based on 25 year old theories. Given the choice between the candidate that is 2 years out of school with the shiny diploma and the real world, battle tested experienced canidate, I’ll take experience any day of the week.

Jack

June 23rd, 2011
4:00 pm

When hiring, the applicant must be able to compose a coherent and properly punchuated sentence and have a command of abstract math. A college degree is a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

Elmer Dinkley

June 23rd, 2011
4:01 pm

Wow…thanks Fletch for posting the most realistic view on this entire board. You are absolutely right that post secondary education is a valuable tool to have but it is not the end all be all of what makes an employee valuable. The problem today is that everyone believes that the degree is all that is needed to be superior to everyone else, regardless of work ethic. I would gladly take someone with a solid attitude, a variety of life experiences and willingness to learn over someone with an expensive framed piece of paper and an entitled attitude. The path we are own now I think is a towards a college bubble where even mundane service jobs will be asking for a BS degree in the future…making it effectivly a waste of money.

Jack

June 23rd, 2011
4:02 pm

punctuated.. oops

Jerry Eads

June 23rd, 2011
4:08 pm

Hi Craig! Thx. Now that I’m not working for the state, I get to stop using a pseudonym and rant and rave in person. Great fun. Fascinating reading thru a day’s posts after a few hours away. Can certainly tell there’s no rules about staying on topic! Coming to the conference this Oct?
J

Dan

June 23rd, 2011
4:21 pm

Agreed Fletch and Elmer, certainly in many instances 10-20 years should trump a degree, there is an unfortunate sticking point however, particularly with large companies, lawsuits, frivoulous and goldigging they may be, but you do have to dot the I’s and cross the T’s in hiring and firing to avoid them. The other point is a good worker with 20yrs experience wouldn’t be competing for a job with a grad with only a few years experience