By 2020, the number of jobs in the U.S. will grow to 165 million, and 65 percent of them will require some education and training beyond high school, according to Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020, a report released recently by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.
The number of jobs requiring some education beyond high school will be even higher in Colorado, where 74 percent of the state's jobs in 2020 are projected to require some post-secondary education.
Unfortunately, we're not ready to meet the demand. At the current rate, the nation will be short 5 million workers who have the education and training needed for these jobs, according to the report.
Nationwide, 24 million new jobs are expected to be created and 31 million will open up as baby boomers retire. The fastest-growing job openings among occupational clusters will occur in health care, community services and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
In the national labor market, the four most in-demand competencies are expected to be judgment/decision-making, communications, analysis and administration.
In Colorado, the industries that will see the strongest job growth are educational services, arts, entertainment and recreation and management of companies and enterprises.
Overall, it is anticipated that the number of jobs in Colorado will grow by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, from 2.54 million to 2.96 million jobs. Currently, there are about 140 million jobs nationwide.
The Bell Policy Center has long advocated for increased education and skills-development opportunities to help students and working adults meet the demands of the 21st century economy. The Bell is a member of the advisory committee for the Skills2Compete-Colorado campaign, which cited this vision:
"Every Colorado resident should have access to the equivalent of at least two years of education or training past high school – leading to a vocational credential, industry certification, or one's first two years of college – to be pursued at whatever point and pace makes sense for individual workers and industries. Every person must also have access to the basic skills needed to pursue such education."
– Meridith Antonucci