Only One Of The Nation’s Top 10 Job-Creating Professions Requires A College Degree


According to the BLS, the US economy will create 24 million jobs between 2010 and 2010. Almost half of those jobs, 9.3 million, will come from this list of the top 30 fastest-growing professions as complied by Professor Mark Perry, but what’s most interesting about the list is how little college education is required.

… only five of the top 30 occupations expected to create the most jobs by 2020 require a college degree or more (nursing, post-secondary teachers, elementary school teachers, accountants and physicians), and ten of the fastest growing occupations don’t even require a high school diploma. Moreover, of the top nine occupations expected to create the most jobs this decade, only one (nursing) requires a 4-year college degree.

Meanwhile, national student loan debt has eclipsed the $1 trillion mark, making up the largest share of US household debt outside of mortgages. The 90-day delinquency rates for student loans are at 11%, an understated figure due to the fact that more than half of all student loan debt is in some form of postponed payment situation, though still a rate that’s higher than credit cards.

The cost of college tuition, not including expenses like books and fees, is growing at a rate four times faster than inflation and five times faster than household income. This is a bubble, and as an example of the lifetime of indebtedness this bubble is shackling America’s you to, consider this scary statistic: From January through August 6 of this year, according to Treasury Department data, the government garnished roughly 115,000 retirees’ Social Security checks for student loan payments. That’s nearly double the pace of the department’s enforcement in 2011; it’s up from around 60,000 cases in all of 2007 and just 6 cases in 2000.

And yet, we’re accumulating all this debt at a time when a college degree isn’t necessary for the fastest growing professions that will provide roughly half of the nation’s new jobs in the next decade.

Which isn’t to say that college is unnecessary, but rather to point out that we’re convincing far too many kids to go to college with our social attitudes and lend-happy student loan policies.

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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