Survey: Higher Education Required for Future Jobs

Achieve.org logoA new joint survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Achieve, a nonprofit dedicated to improving education standards, revealed that technical and educational requirements are increasing across job categories.

The results were based on the responses of 4,695 HR professionals in nine industries. It was released Oct. 3 during SHRM’s annual strategy conference; more than 500 HR executives attended the conference, which took place in Palm Springs, Calif.

Other findings included:

Compared with 10 years ago…

  • 51 percent said more jobs with specific technical requirements exist today; 26 percent said more STEM-related jobs;45 percent said increased employee diversity; and 46 percent said only a higher education level required for most jobs
  • 31 percent predicted fewer entry-level jobs

    Looking ahead three to five years…

  • HR professionals expect even jobs with specific technical requirements—60 percent; STEM-related jobs—31 percent; increased employee diversity —50 percent; and simply a higher education level required for most jobs —49 percent
  • 30 percent predicted even less entry-level jobs

HR professionals said they believed education and training are key in correcting the job skills mismatch. Training includes post-secondary certificate programs, highly job-specific training and employer-sponsored professional development. Education includes training as well as bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees and advanced degrees.

“This survey reinforces the importance of having strong K-12 and postsecondary education systems that provide all students with the knowledge and skills they need to access, and succeed in the careers of their choice,” said Sandy Boyd, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Achieve. “It’s clear that the world has changed and employers are demanding more education and skills from employees than ever before. All students deserve a meaningful and rigorous academic experience that will prepare them for college, careers and life.”

Compared with 10 years ago, respondents said health (54 percent), manufacturing (52 percent), state/local government (48 percent), and the federal government (46 percent) are the industries most likely to report higher education requirements today.

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Shala Marks
Shala Marks is an online editor and writer for Recruiter.com. Marks’ stories have also been published in a variety of newspaper, magazine and online formats including The Arizona Republic, The Daily Herald, Arizona Foothills Magazine and various classroom magazines of Scholastic Inc. Service is her passion, writing is her platform and uplifting and inspiring the community is her purpose. Marks received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.
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