The U.S. is on track to create 55 million new job openings by 2020 but will face a shortage of 5 million workers with the education or training to fill those positions, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
“If the U.S. Congress can deal with budgetary challenges, we are on schedule for recovery,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the center, a nonprofit research and policy institute. “But we will still face a major shortage of college-educated workers, especially as baby boomers retire.”
The study projects overall employment will grow from 140.6 million in 2010 to 164.6 million in 2020. Of the 55 million projected job openings, the study estimates 24 million will be for new jobs and 31 million will result from baby boomers retiring.
According to the findings, 65 percent of job vacancies will require some postsecondary education and training, up from 28 percent in 1973. The study projects that the financial services industry will create more than 10 million job vacancies by 2020; wholesale and retail trade will create 7 million jobs, and government and public education 6.7 million.
Four of the five fastest-growing occupations will require high levels of postsecondary education, the study found: health care professional and technical; science, technology, engineering and math; education; and community services.