The nation’s postsecondary career education colleges and universities produced 597,337 career professionals in 2017 according to a report released today. These results come despite an overall decrease in the number of schools and students in the sector, but they do not slow the sector’s “Campaign to Create 5 Million Career Professionals” within a decade.
“In the first two years of this campaign, our schools have produced 1,227,129 new career professionals.” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of Career Education Colleges and Universities. “While our sector’s total enrollment has declined, the growth in academic awards has substantially increased as we focus on student completions.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a demand for 36.5 million new workers between 2016 and 2026. In 2016, the sector announced the campaign as its commitment to produce no less than 5 million mid-level career professionals. All signs suggest the sector will achieve this goal over the decade.
Gunderson also lifted up the sector’s important work in serving minorities, women and adults seeking to return or upgrade their place in the nation’s workforce. Sixty-seven percent of all graduates were women; and forty-four percent were African-American or Hispanic. And twenty-eight percent were veterans or members of their family.
In 2017, the sector produced:
The Campaign to Create 5 Million Career Professionals in the decade was announced in November of 2016. Using independent research that connects the academic programs of postsecondary institutions in our sector to related occupations the campaign projects the numbers needed to meet replacement and growth needs by state.
Gunderson explained, “Our goal is to meet the demand. We want to make sure every state knows what their demands are for specific skill sets without producing a glut of credentials that can’t be employed.”
CECU pointed out that only three states, Hawaii, Washington and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia, met their annual demand in 2017. Some states fell dramatically below projected demand suggesting the closure of many career colleges will have a long-term impact on the states’ ability to meet specific skills within their economy.