Sometimes, college programs—even fast-growing ones—can’t keep up with industry demand. For example, completions in the health information & medical records technology program grew 109% from 2009-2014. Yet there’s still a large gap between the number of job ads employers post online and the number of hires for medical records and health information technicians.
Emsi examined fast-growing higher ed programs and the occupations associated with each of them to see the gaps between unique monthly job postings* and average monthly hires from January 2015 to January 2016. We focused our analysis on programs that grew by at least 10% nationally from 2009-2014 and had at least 10,000 completions in 2014.
* Note that a job posting is not the same thing as a job or job opening. Job postings primarily measure intentions, and only those of employers who advertise for jobs online. That’s why for this analysis we coupled job postings vs. hires with current total jobs and projected growth by occupation.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Employers are doing a lot more online recruiting than hiring of IT and computer workers. For 15 IT occupations related to the computer and information sciences program area, job postings outnumbered hires by just over 480,000. The biggest gaps were for software developers, applications; computer occupations, all other; and web developers.
- College completions in registered nursing-related programs continue to climb—up to nearly 250,000 in 2014. But there are still far fewer average monthly hires than unique job postings (nearly 243,000) for RNs.
- Physical therapist and occupational therapist jobs have the fourth-largest gap between postings and hires (just under 38,000) and are expected to grow 14.2% from 2015-2020.
- Economist and market research analyst jobs—the two occupations we mapped to the economics program—are expected to grow 14.4% from 2015-2020.
More Insight With Regional Data
In the above infographic, we see a high-level, national view of these eight college programs. While that information is useful in its own right, national data doesn’t always apply to individual regions. Even though an occupation may grow nationally in the future, it won’t necessarily grow in every city. Narrowing our data down to the regional level gives us information that people can act on.
For example, jobs for pharmacists and medical scientists are expected to grow 7.2% from 2015 to 2020 nationally. That data varies wildly from region to region. Phoenix is projected to see nearly double the national growth (14%), but Philadelphia should only see 3% growth. Local insight is necessary in order to determine what programs community colleges and universities should focus on.
As we’ve noted before, the skills gap is a national issue that’s best looked at from the local or regional level. Often, it boils down to an information gap. With the right local information, students can make better career decisions and colleges and universities can make programmatic decisions to address these gaps.
To help high school students make smarter decisions on their career and education path, Emsi has launched Find Your Calling. For more information on this analysis or how you can use Emsi’s labor market data, please contact us. Follow Emsi on Twitter (@DesktopEcon) or check us out on LinkedIn and Facebook.