Now a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics adds another piece of evidence that it usually pays off, literally, to shoot for that master’s degree or higher.
The BLS this week released a detailed forecast for how it expects the job market to change in the current decade (the '10s?).
Among the findings: Jobs that require some sort of postsecondary degree for entry are expected to grow at the fastest clip from 2010 to 2020.
The report found that jobs that require a masters’ degree or more are projected to grow by 21.7 percent over that decade, to a little more than 2.4 million total jobs, compared with just 12.2 percent growth in jobs that require only a high school diploma.
The number of jobs that require a doctoral or professional degree will grow by 19.9 percent, to nearly 5.3 million, while the number that require a college degree is expected to grow 16.5 percent to a total of 25.8 million.
Despite the higher rate of growth, there will still be fewer total jobs requiring those advanced degrees, and many more that just require a high school degree.
The BLS predicts that by 2020 about 69.7 million jobs, or nearly 43 percent of the total, will only require a high school diploma to get in the door.
Of course, plenty of people who are college educated are working as baristas, store managers and other positions that may not require a college degree.
Overall, the Labor Department expects about 20.5 million new jobs to be created between 2010 and 2020 as the job market picks up steam after a deep recession and weak early recovery. Last year the economy created about 1.6 million new jobs, according to preliminary figures.
Many of the net new jobs to be added in coming years will be in health care and social assistance fields, reflecting our aging population and increased medical needs.
Other industries expected to see big job growth will be playing catch-up from the recession. For example, the outlook calls for about 1.8 million new construction jobs to be created in coming years, making it one of the sectors with the highest job growth. But the BLS notes that even if the projections are correct and construction employment reaches nearly 7.4 million, that will be fewer jobs than before the recession began in 2007.
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