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Closing the Skills Gap Quickly for Great Careers

Selecting a 2-Year Program that Prepares Students for Careers Quickly

Statistics can be tricky. At first glance, it would appear that the job market for technical trades is dismal. Take for example the production field. Often victims of automation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated over 282,000 jobs will be eliminated in the production field over time, but even with this staggering statistic there will still be over 9 million jobs in the production field.

In some cases, a lack of industry job growth does not mean a lack of available jobs. Jobs created and current job openings are two (of many) factors to consider. Aging workforces are also a contributing factor that influences job availability.

For example, approximately 1/3 of aviation technicians in the private sector are over 50 years old and nearing retirement age.  As aging populations of technical trade professionals retire, who will take their place?

In addition to aging and retiring workforces, there is increasingly less of a labor pool to fill these openings. According to the BLS, less than 50% of Americans trained for “middle-skills jobs.” The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that over a decade, approximately 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled.

Filling the Talent Pipeline

Luckily there are readily available solutions that benefit students, employees, and employers.

Collectively, employers and their education partners have been refocusing their emphasis from strictly 4-year bachelor’s degree options to include skills training at community colleges, competency-based programs, and apprenticeship programs.

Lockheed Martin is an excellent example, developing an apprenticeship program in aerospace technology with Eastern Florida State College at the Kennedy Space Center. Lockheed Martin is also partnering with Tarrant County College in Texas to train workers in aerospace manufacturing.

At institutes of higher education, schools are reformulating their measures of success. A past emphasis on a 4-year degree was at one time considered to be the ultimate end goal, the best viable career preparation.

But 2-year programs have gained in this area. With an emphasis on technical trades and middle-skill level jobs, closing the skills gap with a solid education in a 2-year program is finally recognized as an essential part of the educational pathway.

4 Great Careers and Short-Term Programs that Close the Skills Gap

These careers and corresponding programs at these schools will help you close the skills gap.

Nursing

An associate’s degree in nursing will have an immediate return on investment. Nursing is said to be the third highest-paying associate degree at press time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of over 175,000 openings for registered nurses are projected each year over a ten year span.

Ready to start your degree in Nursing? Check out these great programs at our partner schools:

Aviation Maintenance

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aviation Maintenance Technician jobs are projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, approximately 1/3 of aviation technicians in the private sector are over 50 years old leading to more job openings as workers near retirement age.

An Associate Degree in Aviation Maintenance prepares students for career opportunities with airlines, aircraft manufacturers, repair stations, depot overhaul facilities, private jet, charter services, corporate flight departments, and government agencies.

Ready to start your degree in Aviation Maintenance? Check out these great programs at our partner schools:

Automotive Services (Technicians and Mechanics)

According to the BLS, Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics jobs are expected to grow by approximately 70,000 jobs a year over a decade. Even with this growth there has been and will continue to be a shortage of Auto Service Techs and Mechanics due in part to the aging workforce of the Baby Boomer population.

This career field offers a variety of opportunities from employment at dealerships, repair shops, auto stores, and self-employment. Additionally, there are opportunities for fixed operations and executive positions such as Shop Foreman, Service Manager, Fixed Operations Director, and General Management.

Ready to start your degree in Automotive Services? Check out these great programs at our partner schools:

    • Contra Costa College: Offers several certificates and degrees in Automotive Services including an Associate of Science Automotive Service Technician and an Associate of Science Automotive Collision Repair Technology. Contra Costa College has GI Bill approved programs and offers credit for military experience. Contra Cost College awards credit for the CLEP exam and is approved for Tuition Assistance.

Welding

The BLS estimates there will be approximately 50,000 jobs added each year over a decade. This is another industry that is expected to be hit hard by a higher number of retiring workers exiting than there are qualified workers entering the profession.

Ready to start your degree in Welding? Check out these great programs at our partner schools:

    • College of Siskiyous: Offers an Associate of Science Degree in Welding as well as a couple of Certificates in Welding. The College of Siskiyous has GI Bill approved programs, offers credit for military experience, and awards credit for the CLEP exam.
    • College of the Redwoods: Offers a comprehensive Welding Technology that program provides training in commercial welding, industrial welding, and fabrication to prepare students for a career in a multitude of fields. This offers flexibility to switch industries without changing careers. College of the Redwoods has GI Bill approved programs and offers credit for military experience.

 

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