Is higher ed a job killer?

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

Those who argue that higher education is a major league time suck just got more ammunition in a report from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“The most new jobs projected for 2022 are expected to be in occupations requiring a high school diploma or equivalent,” BLS reports. “These occupations are projected to add 4.6 million new jobs. About a quarter of these new jobs will be in healthcare and social assistance. Another major area of projected growth for people with a high school diploma or equivalent is construction, which is expected to add almost 1 million jobs as construction regains jobs lost during the 2007–2009 recession.”

“The second largest number of new jobs projected for 2022 is expected to be in occupations that do not require a high school diploma. About 4.2 million new jobs are projected for occupations in which a high school diploma is not required. Of these, personal care aides and home health aides are projected to add a combined 1.0 million new jobs.”

It should be noted that the Department of Labor, which BLS is under, has long been a cheerleader for the amassing of academic credentials. Yet and still, BLS reports that, “In 2012, 49.0 million jobs were in occupations that typically require at least some postsecondary education for entry—education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent—compared with 96.4 million that require a high school diploma or less.”

  • Jaime L. Manzano

    Most jobs, even those routinely requiring higher degrees, are broken into doable pieces that can be learned in less than a month. Take a non-English speaker that is willing to work, and you can turn him into a first-class assembly worker. Take a recent law grad and pay him to do the completion of a real estate transaction, and he will learn and do it in no time flat, even if he never learned or knew a whit of the work while in law school. Both learn by doing. Just enough smarts, and a will to work, make for employment. The pay earned may have more to do with guild-like entry controls, or traditional barriers thrown up by institutional habits. Most of what I earned in the world of work was largely independent of my formal learning. The need to eat had a lot to do with it, as well as desire to satisfy my expanding desires for material things, and the instinctive desire to marry and have a family.