Skills Gap May Be Narrower than Feared

The recession has amplified discussion about the skills gap, accompanied by speculation that 21st century jobs will require college degrees and advanced skills training still inaccessible to many. This compounds worries about a growing barrier to entry into America’s middle class. But, as reported by Jeff Tyler on American Public Radio’s Marketplace, a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce concludes that there are 29 million openings for jobs that pay between $35,000 and $72,000 but don’t require a bachelor’s degree. The surprising finding should be welcome news in much of the country, with the possible exception of New York City, where $35,000 hardly translates into a middle-class lifestyle.

The recession has amplified discussion about the skills gap, accompanied by speculation that 21st century jobs will require college degrees and advanced skills training still inaccessible to many. This compounds worries about a growing barrier to entry into America’s middle class. But, as reported by Jeff Tyler on American Public Radio’s Marketplace, a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce concludes that there are 29 million openings for jobs that pay between $35,000 and $72,000 but don’t require a bachelor’s degree. The surprising finding should be welcome news in much of the country, with the possible exception of New York City, where $35,000 hardly translates into a middle-class lifestyle.

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