Report: STEM growth will require more grads

461262511The Colorado Department of Higher Education released Wednesday its second annual Skills for Jobs legislative report, highlighting trends in workforce development and projecting how demand might change the state’s future necessity.

Although the report found that the state is meeting its current postsecondary completion quota for STEM–science, technology, engineering and mathematics–professionals entering the workforce, it found that Colorado must increase that output to meet future demand in some fields (computer science, for example). Also on track for deficit is the amount of graduating high-level physicians, the study showed.

Colorado is currently ranked third in the nation in terms of the percentage of jobs that require some form of postsecondary education or training. The study projected that 74 percent of all jobs in the state will require such credentials by 2020, meaning that Colorado would have to increase its graduate production by 2 percent (1,000) annually to keep up with demand.

In order to prevent such issues from worsening, the state’s Department of Higher Education recommends that:

  • State data, rather than national, should be used to create policies and partnerships between education and labor industries;
  • The state’s Department of Labor, Department of Education and Department of Higher Education strengthen data-sharing relationships;
  • Effective career paths are developed;
  • The supply-and-demand relationships between higher education and the workforce be closely examined and addressed;
  • The state continues to build strong industry-institution partnerships;
  • Support of growing demographic groups is increased in order to foster success;
  • These entities provide students and families with what they need to make informed education- and career-related decisions.

Go here to read the full report.