College & Workforce Readiness Opinion

More Than High School, Less Than a Four-Year Degree

By Richard Whitmire — January 19, 2011 1 min read
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Don’t get misled about the “middle skills” debate. Young people -- including men -- still need academic credentials beyond high school.

From the Hechinger report article:

Nationally, 27 percent of people with licenses and certificates also earn more than the average bachelor's degree recipient, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Carnevale's newest data show that at least half of all anticipated job opportunities in the next seven years will be open to "middle-skill" workers like pharmacy technicians -- what Khorasani will be after he passes a certification exam. Training for such jobs is offered at both community colleges and for-profit career and trade schools. Middle-skills jobs require more than a high school diploma but less than a college degree, along with significant education and training - and they make up roughly half of all U.S. jobs, according to the Urban Institute, a nonprofit policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. Carnevale says higher education needs to shift its focus to producing workers with degrees and certificates that the workforce needs, although he acknowledges that ultimately, "the higher your education level, the more you'll earn."

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