A recent analysis by Northeastern University Dukakis Center documents a large number of middle skill jobs – those requiring less than a bachelor’s degree - that will open in Massachusetts in the next decade. The analysis revealed that the Commonwealths vocational high schools and 15 community colleges will not be able to fill this demand. The report concludes that,” that while the Commonwealth must continue to invest in its colleges and universities, it needs to recognize the important role of vocational education and community colleges and assure continued, if not
increased funding, for these institutions that will continue to train the majority of the state’s workforce.”
Although a college education is touted as a prerequisite to the middle class, this report demonstrates that based on federal labor projections, the majority of job openings will require less than a bachelors degree. Given that this survey was restricted to Massachusetts, this is a surprising finding since Massachusetts has an economy requiring a very highly educated workforce. If the study’s findings are correct, they should apply even more strongly to other states.
According to the report, 1.2 Million jobs will open in Massachusetts in the decade from 2012 to 2022. Of these 33% will require highs school or less, 30% some college or an associates degree and 37% will need a bachelors or more. However, many of these jobs below a bachelors degree need specific skill development in technical and career skills through vocational and community colleges supplemented by on the job training.