College & Workforce Readiness

New Web Tool Spotlights Mismatches Between Education and Labor Market

By Catherine Gewertz — January 21, 2016 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce has unveiled an interactive web tool that pinpoints each state’s job market needs and shows how well colleges and universities are aiming students into those high-demand areas.

“Higher education faces growing pressure to demonstrate the labor market value of postsecondary programs and credentials,” the center said in announcing the new section of its website. The center, a nationally recognized source of analysis about the match between education and labor-market demands, said it hopes to help states “set educational attainment goals, increase transparency about labor market outcomes, and improve alignment between education and the economy.”

High school guidance counselors might find Georgetown’s web tool useful, too, as they help students think through their education and work dreams. Helping high school students understand the future trajectories of specific jobs or fields of study is a valuable—and often missing—element in too many advising relationships.

The website allows users to choose a state, and examine data about its college pipeline and employment demands. Choosing Missouri, for instance, shows software developers and all other computer occupations as the fields in top demand in the state. In Florida, by contrast, registered nurses top the list of in-demand jobs, followed by software developers.

Each state’s profile shows a list of the employers with the biggest online recruiting presence. It displays the percentage of online job ads that seek people with bachelor’s degrees, and names the top fastest-growing “occupational cluster” for college graduates (STEM in Missouri, food and personal service in Florida). The profile shows each state’s fastest-growing industry sector for college graduates (leisure and hospitality services in both Missouri and Florida). It also has a chart showing the portion of each state’s online job postings that require bachelor’s degrees, and which don’t.

Each state’s profile also links to a national overview that Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce did last year, which looks at job and education trends nationally.

Art: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

A version of this news article first appeared in the High School & Beyond blog.