Need for postsecondary education increasing

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The days of leaving high school and finding gainful employment without further education or training are behind us. That’s the message of “The Midwest Challenge: Matching Jobs with Education in the Post-Recession Economy, a report released by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Many of the jobs that have been lost or eliminated in the past few years were low-skill, middle wage positions. According to the report, the opportunities expected for new jobs and job retirements will need postsecondary education or training.

"Report: The Midwest Challenge: Matching Jobs with Education in the Post-Recession Economy

Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce

According to the report, 61 percent of all jobs in Wisconsin through 2018 will need some postsecondary training. These jobs will grow by 139,000 while jobs for high school graduates and dropouts will grow by 52,000 between 2008 and 2018.

“To fill job openings, the fastest-growing occupations and industries seek individuals with postsecondary credentials,” said Dr. Nicole Smith, co-author of the report.

The report states that the share of manufacturing jobs (15.5 percent) is still much greater in Wisconsin than elsewhere around the country (8.9 percent). However, the fastest growing occupations will include those in healthcare support, computer and mathematical science, and healthcare technical and professional occupations in the next 10 years.

Chances are, high school students or returning adults seeking a career will need to invest in postsecondary education. Projections for job growth between 2008 and 2018 show opportunities for both associate degree and bachelor degree holders will increase by 8 percent. Comparatively, growth for those jobs not requiring postsecondary education is only 4 percent. Whatever higher education decision you make, be sure to consider the implications for employment. Your future success may depend upon it.