New Study Finds Career Colleges Poised to Make Significant Contribution in Filling IT, Engineering and Healthcare Worker Shortages in U.S.

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Publication Corner

By Kerry Turner

front cover of 2008 Student's Guide

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in the next decade nearly two-thirds of the estimated 15.6 million new jobs created in the U.S. will be in occupations requiring some postsecondary education or considerable on-the-job training. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao recently acknowledged that the U.S. will need to fill job openings for nearly 3 million healthcare professionals and over 950,000 engineers. The Imagine America Foundation’s recent study found that career colleges are poised to make a significant impact in filling America’s skilled worker shortage, specifically in the job shortage areas of information technology, engineering and allied health.

The report, Filling America’s Skilled Worker Shortage: The Role of Career Colleges, provides a comprehensive review of the U.S. labor force skills shortage by industry, and the role of the nation’s nearly 2,900 career colleges in meeting the high-demand for occupations in health professions, business management, computer and information systems, education, communications technologies, and legal profession and studies. The report asserts that career colleges could fill approximately 22 percent of the job openings in these areas in the U.S. Notable findings in the study are the following:

    IT & Engineering
  • Career colleges produce graduates who could fill approximately 24 percent of the 35,000 annual job openings needed for network systems and data communications analysts;
  • Career colleges produce graduates who could fill approximately 18 percent of the 31,000 annual job openings for computer and information systems managers; and
  • Career colleges produce graduates who could fill approximately 47 percent of the 13,000 annual job openings needed for electrical engineering technicians.
    Allied Health
  • Career colleges produce graduates who could fill approximately 18 percent of the 31,000 annual job openings needed for licensed practical nurses;
  • Career college programs play an integral role in training future health management professionals, graduating students who are able to fill 51 percent of the 9,000 annual openings for medical and health service managers;
  • Career college training programs are responsible for graduating more than 10,000 aspiring pharmacy aides and technicians each year, which accounts for 55 percent of the estimated 19,000 annual job openings; and
  • Each year career colleges graduate enough students to satisfy 43 percent of the 7,000 annual job openings for radiologic technologists and technicians.

Filling America’s Skilled Worker Shortage: The Role of Career Colleges was compiled for the Imagine America Foundation by Eduventures, Inc. The study draws upon data from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. To learn more about ordering your copy for half price, email the Foundation at foundation@imagine-america.org and mention code "Skills2008"!