Jobs

Massachusetts is falling behind in job training programs

The state has not built a new vocational and technical school in 30 years.

Most job openings in Massachusetts over the next seven years will not require a college degree. The Boston Globe

Massachusetts residents may be surprised to hear that over the next seven years, it will be those without four-year college degrees finding themselves in hot demand, as roughly 1.2 million jobs open up in health care, manufacturing, construction, and other industries, according to a new jobs report from Northeastern University.

This should be welcome news to job seekers, since these industries typically require little more from workers than post-secondary certificates, vocational training, or associate’s degrees, but as The Boston Globe points out, there’s a catch: The state’s strained vocational education system is already at capacity, and won’t be able to train enough people to fill those spots.

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Careers most likely to add jobs by 2019:

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It’s more than just bad news for workers. This could lead to the state facing “severe labor shortages’’ in healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries by 2022, especially as the economy continues expanding and more baby boomers retire.

Using U.S. Census data, Department of Labor employment projections, and enrollment numbers at the state’s vocational schools, the Northeastern report found that three out of five of these job openings will require less than a bachelor’s degree, but many of the state’s vocational schools and community colleges already have waiting lists in the hundreds, particularly in communities with high unemployment rates and large minority populations.

For the lucky students who gain access to the state’s network of career training centers, opportunities should be plentiful, the report found. For example, employers will need to fill about 40,000 healthcare positions, 150,000 food prep jobs, and 34,000 building and maintenance spots.

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Read the full Globe story here.

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