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Are Colorado colleges meeting workforce needs?

Are Colorado colleges and universities pumping out graduates with the right degrees to take the jobs that the state needs filled?

A recent report from the Department of Higher Education and two other state agencies provides some data on that question. The Skills for Jobs Act report has to be submitted annually to the legislature.

The law requiring the study was prompted by legislative concerns about the state’s future workforce needs and about whether college graduates can get good job.

Among the report’s conclusions:

  • Colorado likely needs to increase the number of higher education credentials and degrees awarded by 1,000 a year (2 percent) to meet overall future work needs.
  • By 2020 an estimated 74 percent of jobs in the state will require at least some postsecondary training.
  • While colleges are meeting the needs in many STEM fields, the number of degrees needs to be increased to meet projected demand in the future. The report found shortages in some computer science areas.
  • Colorado isn’t on track to meet future demands for doctors but is meeting the demand for other health-care jobs.
  • There may be gaps between the number of students trained and job demands in some skilled trades and manufacturing areas.

The report was presented to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education Friday. Read the full document here.