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Employers Demand More Community College Graduates



By Catherine Groux
Posted November 13, 2012 04:00 PM

Employment opportunities for community college graduates are rising.
Employment opportunities for community college graduates are rising.
With a national unemployment rate of 7.8%, many Americans are questioning how they can find a job in a struggling economy. New figures indicate that the solution may be enrolling in a community college, as employment for associate's degree holders has recently surged.

In the past six months, the number of jobs for Americans who have completed an associate's degree or some college rose by 578,000, reaching a total of 35.2 million, USA Today reports. The number of positions for high school graduates, on the other hand, has remained stagnant after taking a huge fall during the recession.

A 2010 report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce draws similar conclusions, showing the steady rise in demand for employees with associate's degrees. In 1992, only 8% of the nation's jobs required workers to hold a two-year degree. By 2018, this figure is projected to rise to 12%.

Anthony P. Carnevale, the Georgetown Center's director, said this data highlights the growing need for Americans to go back to school, whether they choose to enroll in a two-year community college or four-year university.

"It is a tough job market for college graduates but far worse for those without a college education," Carnevale said. "At a time when more and more people are debating the value of postsecondary education, this data shows that your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree."

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