ERIC Number: EJ930727
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-8
Reference Count: N/A
College Labor Shortages in 2018?
Harrington, Paul E.; Sum, Andrew M.
New England Journal of Higher Education, Nov 2010
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has engaged in a highly publicized campaign claiming that the nation will face a very substantial deficit of college graduates by 2018 if the American postsecondary system fails to rapidly expand the number of college degrees it awards each year. Indeed, the employment projections developed by Anthony Carnevale and his colleagues at Georgetown University suggest that there will be a shortfall of 3 million college graduates by that year. Such a labor shortage, if it were to actually materialize, could result in an enormous amount of lost production, reduced incomes in the U.S. and a deterioration in our competitive position in the world economy. So what is the evidence of future labor shortages in college labor markets? Should higher education institutions place some bets in terms of organizational structures and resource allocation in response to this projection of a serious labor shortfall? These are important questions since the higher education system has been burned by faulty projections in the past. The authors state that the most egregious example of this was the "college enrollment crisis" that was forecast by a number of observers in the early 1980s. While decline, consolidation and merger were the watchwords of the "enrollment crisis" proponents, the authors contend that colleges and universities in fact prospered over the period when shortfalls in enrollment were expected. While the forecasters got the demographics right, they didn't account for changes in the nature and magnitude of job growth that favored those with more years of formal schooling. (Contains 1 table and 1 endnote.)
Descriptors: Evidence, College Graduates, Employment Projections, Labor Demands, Enrollment Trends, Educational Attainment, Labor Market, College Outcomes Assessment, Educational Indicators, Educational Supply, Labor Force Development, Graduation Rate
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States