Where I mix career information and career decision making in a test tube and see what happens

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For One of the Best Jobs, Get a Good Education

One message that you will hear again and again from people who provide career information is that the importance of higher education has grown over the past several years. Today I’d like to offer one more piece of evidence supporting this argument.

This month, the sixth edition of Best Jobs for the 21st Century has been released by JIST Publishing. I have been involved in updating this book since the third edition, which came out in 2002.

I thought it would be interesting to see how educational requirements have changed, over 10 years and three editions, for the mix of occupations included in this book. You should understand that in all the editions of this book, occupations were not selected to represent a cross-section of the levels of required education and training. Instead, the occupations were selected (from a pool of those for which data was available) entirely on the basis of their economic rewards--specifically, their combined rankings on average earnings, projected growth, and projected annual job openings.

As it happens, most of the occupations with the very best economic rewards also require a high level of skill and therefore many years of education. However, Best Jobs for the 21st Century has always included several hundred occupations--not just the very best jobs, but also the good jobs. As a result, the book has always included many occupations that require only on-the-job training, work experience, or very short educational programs for entry.

But has the mix of entry requirements changed over the years?

Here’s what I found when I compared the educational requirements of occupations in the two editions, 2002 and 2012.
Level of Education/Training
Occs.
in 2002
Edition
Occs.
in 2012
Edition
Short-term on-the-job training
15%
10%
Moderate-term on-the-job training
15%
10%
Long-term on-the-job training
10%
6%
Work experience in a related occupation
7%
8%
Postsecondary vocational award
8%
6%
Associate degree
7%
7%
Bachelor's degree
17%
23%
Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience
6%
8%
Master's degree
11%
7%
Doctoral degree
2%
11%
First professional degree
3%
3%


You can see that the overall trend is toward increased education. All three categories of on-the-job training are not as well represented in 2012 as they were in 2002.

The lesson to take away should be clear: Earnings and job opportunity are declining in occupations that don’t require a college education. Higher education is the entry ticket to highly rewarding jobs.

1 comment:

  1. On-the-job trainings is very essential as it prepares an individual to the actual work that he/she has undergone. There are also online continuing education and certification courses that can be helpful in an individuals' on the job training.

    ReplyDelete