An analysis of data from a number of government agencies on enrollment in degree programs and job creation by CareerBuilder and its analytics arm, Economic Modeling Specialists, highlights the divergence between the number of computer and IT degrees completed and the number of jobs requiring those credentials.
Between 2003 and 2012, the analysis finds U.S. computer and IT jobs grew 13 percent, while the number of U.S. computer and IT degrees completed fell 11 percent. Completed degrees classified in these categories, however, rose by the percent indicated during the same period:
- Health: 112 percent
- Liberal arts and humanities: 47 percent
- Engineering: 37 percent
- Business, management and marketing: 33 percent
- Education: 18 percent
“The slowdown in IT degrees over the last decade may have been influenced, in part, by the dot-com bubble collapse and by more recent trends of tech workers being trained by employers or trained through informal programs outside of a traditional academic setting,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.
Indeed, in some of the hottest tech-related job markets, such as health care IT and data analytics, large employers plan to build up their IT departments by training clinical staff and administrators. And a recent Brookings Institution study finds that half of STEM jobs don’t require a four-year degree at all. Good news, indeed, when comparing the average salaries of the jobs in question–$53,000 annually–to the cost of a bachelor’s degree.