October 27, 2017 – Nashville, Tn. – Last year, the postsecondary career education sector embarked on a long-term commitment to create five million career professionals in the decade ahead. The goal of the campaign was to outline the importance of career education in meeting the job demand of the 21st century by connecting academic and occupational government data to local employment projections. First-year results* of the campaign show that career colleges and universities produced about 630,000 academic awards last year.
“We are on track to produce 5 million new career professionals,” said Gunderson. “But in most states we are not on pace to meet the replacement and growth needs within that state. This is the result of the dramatic downsizing of the sector with over 1,000 campuses closed since 2010.” To meet the demands of every state’s workforce, the sector was projected to produce 724,695 new career professionals in the first year. The sector produced 100,000 less, which means we will need to make up this gap over the next nine years.The breakdown of the completions data tells a compelling story about the students served by the postsecondary career education sector. Out of the total number of completers in 2016, 67 percent were women, 21 percent were Black or African American, and 22 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
The sector continues to play an essential role in producing large numbers of skilled professionals in multiple careers. Among the leading professions in 2016, the nation’s career colleges and universities produced over 57,000 medical assistants; over 51,000 cosmetology professionals; over 49,000 business administrators; over 36,000 registered nurses; over 15,000 massage therapists; over 14,000 dental assistants; over 11,000 automotive technicians; and over 10,000 licensed practical nurses.
“With 46.5 million new skilled workers needed by 2024, our sector is committed to meeting the needs of our nation’s workforce,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “These first-year results show that the postsecondary career education sector is crucial to developing the skills that lead to real jobs, real wages, and a real chance at a place in America’s middle class.”
The Campaign to Create 5 Million Career Professionals in the decade ahead was announced in November of 2016. Using research that connects the academic programs of postsecondary institutions in our sector to related occupations, and calculating projections using state-specific data on occupational growth demands and replacement needs, the sector outlined its role in America’s economic and social future. These first-year completion results show that the sector is on track to meet the campaign goals and the job demand over the next 10 years. Read more about the campaign here.
*Based on IPEDS data as of October 4, 2017