Published on 2011/12/23

Future Jobs Will Demand Adult Education

Elizabethton Northeast State Community College’s director, Keith Young, gave a presentation this week where he told The Education/Workforce Development Committee of Carter County’s Chamber of Commerce that middle-skill jobs and continuing education will define America’s future.

The Elizabethton Star’s Ashley Rader reported that Young said the high-demand sectors of the future will require workers to hold an associate’s degree or some level of bachelor’s education, but will not require four-year degree holders.

He pointed to current unemployment rates in east Tennessee, noting that the unemployment rate for those with associate’s degrees is lower than that of bachelor degree holders. He explained this as a side-effect of an over-saturation of bachelor degree holders in the labor market. However, he added, those without any post-secondary training will remain lower-demand commodities in the labor market.

Further, Young pointed to the Tennessee Department of Education statistics projecting that 65 percent of people attaining new positions in 2025 will be adults, arguing adults must continue to engage in training and education in order to be competitive for these positions.

This is good news for prospective students who simply cannot afford to spend four years engaged in full-time education. According to Young, a two-year degree in a high-demand field such as healthcare or electrics is more likely to lead to a job and, given the norm of adult education he’s predicting, educating oneself to move to a new career later in life may be easier than it is today.

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