CHICAGO – September 3, 2015 – While the demand for educated labor continues to increase in the U.S., new research1 from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl (EMSI) suggests the supply of qualified candidates may not be keeping up with demand for certain professions. Looking at trends post-recession, nearly 500,000 more degrees were awarded in 2014 than in 2010, an 11 percent increase. However, nearly two-thirds of the new degree completions occurred from 2010-2011, with growth remaining less than one percent in subsequent years. Programs experiencing the greatest declines were heavily concentrated in humanities and social sciences.
Overall Growth of College Degree Completions
“The market is at a unique inflection point, and we need to make sure that we’re educating workers to have 21st century skills for 21st century jobs,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “While it’s encouraging to see accelerated participation growth in STEM-related college programs, the slowdown in overall degree completions – especially those tied to developing strong communications and critical-thinking skills – is concerning. Nearly half of employers say they currently have job vacancies but can’t find skilled candidates to fill them. We need to do a better job informing students and workers about which fields are in-demand and growing, and provide them with access to affordable education and training, so the journey to a high-skill job is an achievable one regardless of their socioeconomic situation.”
College Degrees With the Most Growth
More than half of the top 10 broad programs leading the U.S. in degree completion (2010-2014) were in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
College Degrees With the Greatest Decline
From 2010 to 2014, only nine broad program categories experienced decline, nearly all of which were in humanities and social sciences (and closely related to teaching occupations):
College Degrees That Grew and Then Fell
The following broad program categories increased completions each year between 2010 and 2013 and then experienced a decline in 2014. The numbers below show decline between 2013 and 2014:
The mechanic and repair technologies/technicians program category has been steadily declining since its height in 2011 when it produced 112,404 completions. Between 2011 and 2014, its completion count fell 8%.
College Degrees That Fell, But Then Grew
The nation’s top two program categories (by number of completions) both saw brief declines in completions in 2013 but began to recover in 2014:
1Analysis was based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics
Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) is a CareerBuilder company that provides industry-leading employment data and economic analysis via web tools and custom reports. EMSI turns vast amounts of labor market data into easy-to-use information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people, and work, and ultimately build a better workforce. EMSI's web tools - Analyst and Career Coach - are used by thousands of professionals in higher education, workforce and economic development, and the private sector. EMSI has also produced more than 1,200 comprehensive impact analyses for colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally.
As the global leader in human capital solutions, CareerBuilder specializes in cutting-edge HR software as a service to help companies with every step of the recruitment process from acquire to hire. CareerBuilder works with top employers across industries, providing job distribution, sourcing, workflow, CRM, data and analytics in one pre-hire platform. It also operates leading job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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