has been made in recent years about the skills gap, but many
questions still remain in the public and education about exactly
what the skills gap is.
Stated simply, its the mismatch between the needs of employers for
skilled talent and the skills possessed by the available workforce.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that by
2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs being
created in the United States, but only 400,000 computer scientists
trained to fill those jobs. Likewise, welding trade organizations
state there is an immediate need for 400,000 additional welders in
the workforce. Across the country, millions of job postings go
unfilled even as millions of people remain unemployed or
The vast majority of these jobs require education beyond high school
but not necessarily a four-year degree, and fall into the category
of "middle-skill" jobs. Middle skill professions currently make up
the largest part of the labor market in the United States, and many
workers employed in middle skills fields are earning more than their
counterparts who possess a four-year degree.
A panel of area experts said the region has grown as the Tech Valley
because of the ability to recruit nationally and internationally to
fill middle skills jobs, but its vital to the future of the region
to be able to fill those jobs and future jobs locally. Some area
manufacturers are even willing to pay for their employees to pursue
a higher education degree while they work for them.
Learn more about the middle skills gap and the opportunities it
presents for students and our region by checking out some of the