The Seattle Times had two articles in today’s edition discussing recent economic and demographic developments that suggest a rosier employment picture for college graduates in the years ahead.
An article by Times business reporter Erin Flemming, reported statistics from the National Association of Colleges And Employers (NACE) showing employers plan to hire 10.2 percent more new college graduates this year than last. Meanwhile, some students report a more optimistic outlook toward their employment prospects, and campus career centers report higher use by both students and employers.
The other Times article, by Christine Clarridge, reported that the Washington State Patrol is launching a major hiring campaign to fill an expected 60 vacancies created in large part by retirements. The Patrol expects to lose 25 percent of its ranks to retirement over the next five years.
The minimum educational requirement for a state trooper is a high school degree or its equivalent. However, HECB studies have long suggested that workers with college degrees and certificates will also be in heavier demand as thousands of baby boom workers reach retirement age.
The need to replace those baby boomers in the economy is one reason the state’s Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education calls for efforts to increase college participation and degree attainment among younger students and adult workers who have not yet completed degrees.