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Why You Need Better Job Skills Even in Times of Low Unemployment

Published: December 9, 2019

Even though the U.S. has been experiencing record low unemployment, more than 40 million Americans don’t have jobs or they lack the skills, credentials and networks they need to earn a living wage.1 That means that there may be plenty of jobs out there, but if you don’t have the right skills, you’re not sharing in the prosperity. Did you know that by 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require some kind of education beyond high school?

Most Jobs Require Certain Skills and Specialized Training

The current unemployment rate is 3.6 percent and the U.S. economy is expected to produce some 55 million job openings by 2020.2 But most of these jobs will require you to have a degree or some level of specialized training. The good news may be that just because you need more education, doesn’t mean that education needs to be a traditional four-year degree. In fact, the Brookings Institute specifically notes that short-term certificates could help increase employment and earnings and serve as a steppingstone to a later degree.3

What Employers Say about Job Skills

There are 7 million job openings that can’t be filled because workers just aren’t qualified enough for the positions.1 According to a recent survey, this skills gap grew by more than 10 percent last year alone.4 More than half of employers say that the gap negatively impacts their companies, making them less productive and less profitable. But employers also agree that education has the power to improve economic health and well-being.Education and training can be game-changers for employers and employees, alike.

How to Address the Job Skills Gap

If there are plenty of jobs out there, but not enough skilled workers to fill them, the solution should be easy. Just convince workers to get more training. But experts have already figured out that nothing is that simple. The Education Commission of the States and Strada Education Network recently partnered to take a hard look at this difficult problem. And what they’ve decided is to listen to those potential new workers. In an effort to understand their goals and motivations, they conducted a survey asking people what they want from their education and career and what motivates them to go on to continue their education. Then, they came up with policies to point workers in the right direction, connect with businesses and school, and help people find ways to fund their education.1

What do People Think About Job Skills

Like employers, most people agree that education could be the answer to a better future. Almost half of Americans believe they do need more education if they intend to advance in their careers. And more than half say they’re likely or very likely to enroll in some type of courses or training within the next five years.1 But what will nudge them closer to that goal? According to the survey, the three questions that are on the top of their minds are:

  • Will further education have a positive impact on my career?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Will it be flexible enough to fit in my schedule?1

Where Does Charter College Fit In?

If you’re ready to get to work, we’re ready to help. We have a variety of career-focused programs in the kinds of fields that need employees: Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and HVAC/R. And we offer programs on-campus, online, and in a blended learning format, so you can fit an education into even your busy schedule. We also have trained Enrollment Processors who can assist you with your application and answer any questions you may have about Financial Aid.

Are you ready to improve your skills and learn some new ones? Contact Charter College today and we’ll help you explore the kind of skills training that will set you up for entry-level work in a real career.