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Job Openings & Education Requirements - General Outlook

Projected job growth varies widely by education and training requirements. Technical Education is essential in getting a high-paying job. In fact allmost all of the highest paying occupations require a college degree.

Job openings stem from both employment growth and replacement needs. Replacement needs arise as workers leave occupations. Some transfer to other occupations while others retire, return to school, or quit to assume household responsibilities. Replacement needs are projected to account for 60 percent of the approximately 58 million job openings between 2000 and 2010. Thus, even occupations with little or no change in employment still may offer many job openings.

Jobs requiring an associate degree are projected to grow 32 percent over the 2000-10 period and jobs requiring a postsecondary vocational award grow 24.1 percent. Employment in occupations requiring an associate degree is projected to increase faster than any other occupational group categorized by education or training.

The largest number of job openings will be among occupations requiring short-term on-the-job training. Almost two-thirds of the projected job openings over the 2000-10 period will be in occupations that require on-the-job training, and arise mostly from replacement needs. Occupations requiring work-related training are projected to increase 12.4 percent. These jobs will account for 37.3 million of the projected 57.9 million total job openings through 2010. However, many of these jobs typically offer low pay and benefits; this is more true of jobs requiring only short-term on-the-job training, which will account for 24.8 million openings.

Jobs requiring a bachelor's degree, and which usually offer higher pay and benefits, will account for about 7.3 million job openings through 2010. Employment in occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree is expected to grow 21.6 percent. Most of these openings will result from job growth.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook 2003

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