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Study of PA Online Job Listings Shows Market Favors Tech

GRAPHIC: A study that for the first time looks at the employment trends in online job listings says increasingly, employers want people with specialized, and often technical, degrees. Image credit: Dan Heyman.
GRAPHIC: A study that for the first time looks at the employment trends in online job listings says increasingly, employers want people with specialized, and often technical, degrees. Image credit: Dan Heyman.
March 30, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Online job listings show a 'good news, bad news' employment picture for Pennsylvania. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has crunched the data from online postings for its new study of U.S. job trends.

Lead author Tony Carnevale says during the recession, about two-million jobs were posted and now, he says it's closer to five-million, but it indicates employers are pickier about what they want. He says the listings favor people with specialized degrees in science, technology, engineering and math, along with business, education and health-care training.

"They care what you majored in in college, as much as they care whether or not you went," says Carnevale. "This is data from the horse's mouth - this is the employers telling us what they're looking for."

Carnevale says the research found that even many sales jobs now require technical training.

"Two-thirds of sales reps are now people with college degrees - half, roughly, are selling medical or industrial technology. You're selling to experts, you've got to be one," he says.

The report says one-third of online Pennsylvania job ads are for managerial and professional office occupations. And a quarter are from employers in the professional and business services sector. Carnevale says students need to consider what the prospects are for the different college degrees they might pursue.

"What you make really does depend on what you take," Carneval says. "It matters less and less where you go to college. Going and getting a degree is important, but know what the job prospects are for different majors."

According to the study, half the Pennsylvania online job listings for more than 60,000 positions ask for a college degree. Many of those listings were for software and app developers, or for other computer-related occupations.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - PA