Much of U.S. job growth over the past 35 years has been in occupations that require higher levels of education, training and experience, according to a recently released Pew Research Center report. And based on our analysis of official government job-growth projections, that trend seems likely to continue.
Employment in occupations requiring average to above-average levels of preparation – a metric that combines formal education, on-the-job training and prior related experience – is expected to grow 7.9% between 2014 and 2024, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That equates to nearly 6 million of the 9.7 million jobs predicted to be added over that time. Employment in occupations requiring below-average preparation, on the other hand, is projected to grow by only 5.1%, or the equivalent of about 3.7 million jobs. (The BLS projects overall 2014-24 job growth at 6.5%.)
The differences in projected growth were even more pronounced when looking at social skills, which Pew Research Center defines as encompassing interpersonal skills, written and spoken communication skills, and management or leadership skills.
Employment in occupations that require average to above-average levels of such social skills is projected to grow by 8.1%, versus just 4.4% growth for occupations requiring below-average levels of those skills.