January 30, 2024
A recent analysis finds only 42% of jobs in 2031 will require a bachelor’s degree, suggesting that colleges with enrollment declines should not expect demand to surge.
Over the past few months, I have sought the help of several highly trained technicians, including HVAC specialists, electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics and nursing assistants. They were all well trained and working in fields with more jobs than there are qualified individuals available.
And they all charged significantly more per hour than my primary care physician does. In fact, it was so hard to obtain the right technical assistance in a timely manner that I took to learning many of the skills myself. I installed a new water heater, wired my new garage with electricity, and changed the fuel sending unit on my car — among many other things.
It was obvious while waiting for these critical professionals that postsecondary training and experience — and likely, the certificate to prove it — are important. But it was less obvious that an actual college degree was required to meet many of our society’s pressing needs.