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

Washington, D.C. (August 25, 2008) – According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in the next decade, nearly two-thirds of the estimated 15.6 million net new jobs created in the U.S. will be in occupations that require 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 three million healthcare professionals and over 950,000 engineers. A new study released by the Imagine America Foundation 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.

“In many critical professions, there is a shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. which, if left unchecked, will constrain long-term economic growth,” said Robert L. Martin, President of IAF. “Without the training that career colleges provide, employers would struggle to find or train employees to fill their needs.”

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 professions and studies. The report asserts that graduates of career colleges could fill approximately 22 percent of the job openings in these occupations.

Notable findings in the study are the following:

    IT & Engineering
  • Career college graduates represent approximately 24 percent of the annual 35,000 job openings needed for network systems and data communications analysts;
  • Career college graduates represent approximately 18 percent of the annual 31,000 job openings for computer and information systems managers; and
  • Career colleges produce graduates that could fill approximately 47 percent of the 13,000 annual job openings needed for electrical engineering technicians.

    Allied Health
  • Career colleges produce graduates that could fill about 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 employer demand 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.

“Career colleges play a critical role in the supply of skilled workers by not only training students for entry-level positions, but by also providing ongoing education to support career advancement, management training, and retraining for new professions and occupations,” said Jane Smalec, Director of Consulting Services at Eduventures, Inc.

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.

For more information about Filling America’s Skilled Worker Shortage: the Role of Career Colleges or to view an executive summary of the report, please visit www.imagine-america.org.


Contact: Robert L. Martin, Imagine America Foundation President
Phone: (202) 336-6758
E-mail: bobm@imagine-america.org


The Imagine America Foundation (IAF), established in 1982, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarship, research and training support for the career college sector. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $37 million in scholarship and award support for graduating high school seniors, adult learners and U.S. military veterans attending career colleges nationwide through its award-winning Imagine America® programs. The Foundation also publishes vital research publications for the higher education sector, honors achievement in career education and offers faculty development training. For more information about the Imagine America Foundation’s programs, please visit www.imagine-america.org .