Posts tagged ‘Associate degree’

November 22, 2012

Most new jobs do not require a college degree

by Grace

63 percent of this decade’s new jobs will not require a college degree.

Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020.

The upward trend in healthcare jobs would seem to be consistent with a United States that is beginning to resemble Europe, with a declining birth rate and an aging population.

As the population continues to age, older groups of Americans are expected to have more rapid growth than younger groups. The 16-to-24 age group is anticipated to experience little population change, with a growth rate of 0.3 percent during 2010–20, while the population ages 25 to 34 is projected to grow 10.5 percent over same timeframe. Meanwhile, the 45-to-54 age group is expected to shrink by 7.6 percent, reflecting the slower birthrate following the baby-boom generation. As the baby boomers continue to age, the 55-and-older population is projected to increase by 29.1 percent, more than any other age group.

Low wages
With only one spouse working, most of these jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree are unlikely to support a middle-class lifestyle for a family.  But for a two-wage earner family, these jobs can provide a reasonably comfortable lifestyle.  Here are the income figures for the five occupations projected to add the greatest number of new jobs.

Table 2. Occupations with the largest numeric growth, projected 2010-20

  Occupation Number of new jobs added Percent change Wages (May 2010 median) Entry-Level Education Related Work Experience On-the-job Training
Registered Nurses 711,900 26 $64,690 Associate’s degree None None
Retail Salespersons 706,800 17 20,670 Less than high school None Short-term on-the-job training
Home Health Aides 706,300 69 20,560 Less than high school None Short-term on-the-job training
Personal Care Aides 607,000 70 19,640 Less than high school None Short-term on-the-job training
Office Clerks, General 489,500 17 26,610 High school diploma or equivalent None Short-term on-the-job training

A married couple working at any combination of these jobs would land above the “contemporary” poverty line – $33,686 for a family of four.  Based on the median wages from this chart, a registered nurse and a personal care aide would bring in a total income of $84,330.  However, it should be noted that the trend is for a nurse with a bachelor’s degree or a diploma to fare better in the job market.  But even combining the two lowest paying jobs from this chart would generate $40,200 total annual income.

Related:  ‘How Many College Graduates Does the U.S. Labor Force Really Need?’ (Cost of College)

June 26, 2012

What are the reasons for struggling college graduates around the world?

by Grace

College graduates from around the world are struggling and finding themselves “not where they hoped they’d be”.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:  a 28-year-old deputy manager of a McDonald’s restaurant … in Warsaw, Poland … who has degree in Russian language from Warsaw University … a 28-year-old waitress, serves a customer at Novel  cafe in Santa Monica, California…  studied for five years at Ball State University where she received a degree in painting and business management … a 30-year-old cook, in the Mavros Gatos (Black Cat) tavern in Psiri neighborhood in central Athens, Greece … studied at Athens Technology University (TEI) for four years where he received a degree in civil engineering’

… graduates from around the world who have been unable to find work in their degree fields and have ended up in poorly paid service industry jobs. Although their current positions may be disappointing, the subjects in these photos may count themselves lucky to have any job at all — the International Labor Organization estimates the number of people aged 15 to 24 without a job at almost 75 million. From a cook in Athens with a degree in civil engineering to a waiter in Algiers with a masters in corporate finance, these young people have spent years studying hard to compete in the 21st century, only to discover that even the most desirable qualifications mean little in a distressed global economy.

Even the “most desirable qualifications”?  The first thing that came to mind after seeing these photos is that we know nothing about their grades and other credentials.  They may have graduated toward the bottom of their class and have no relevant work experience.  Even if they earned a 4.0 GPA, did their alma mater provide them with a rigorous education?

Let’s look closely at one portrait of a struggling waiter.

Steffen Andrews, a 24-year-old waiter, serves a customer at Sunny Blue restaurant in Santa Monica, California, on April 24, 2012. Andrews studied for four and a half years at Cabrillo College where he received a degree in communications. He came to Los Angeles to work in the film industry but is now unsure what career he wants to pursue.

Cabrillo College is a community college that offers associate degrees and certificates.  On its website it invites students to “discover” their “passion” in one of the many areas of study offered.  Is it realistic to expect to get a well-paying job in the film industry when your main qualification is an associate degree in communications?

The faltering economy is affecting job prospects for college graduates, especially true in countries like Greece where the outlook is especially grim.  This is all the more reason for young people to consider carefully the practical aspects of the choices they make in higher education.  We should try to learn from examples like the ones in this story.  In the meantime, I wish all of them well in their future employment.

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