The job market Washington students will enter in the coming years will be full of exciting opportunities. Washington state boasts the seventh-fastest growing economy in the nation. Our anchor employers are leaders in information and communications technology,
aerospace, online commerce, and precision manufacturing. Traditional stronghold sectors – such as trade, natural resources, agriculture, manufacturing, and services – provide a vibrant and diverse employment mix.
The Washington Roundtable partnered with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to examine Washington state’s five-year jobs outlook and shine a spotlight on the jobs that will be available and the pathways Washington students can take to pursue rewarding careers.
Job opportunities in Washington state over the coming years will span a broad spectrum of industries, with the vast majority of positions being filled by workers who have a postsecondary credential or some college. For comparison purposes, BCG classified projected job openings into three categories based on current median salary and potential for upward mobility.
THE FUTURE: DRAMATIC JOB GROWTH IN WASHINGTON STATE
There will be 740,000 job openings in Washington in the next five years. State job growth over this period is expected to be nearly three times the national average. The majority of job opportunities—particularly those that will support upward mobility and good quality of life—will be filled with workers who have postsecondary education or training.
Recognizing the need to prepare our kids for these opportunities, the Washington Roundtable has set an ambitious goal: By 2030, 70 percent of Washington students will earn a postsecondary credential by the age of 26.
Higher skill jobs with potential path to career
Salary Range: $30,000-$45,000
# of openings: 330,000 OF WORKERS WILL HAVE A CREDENTIAL 34%
Compared to entry-level positions, these jobs offer better pay and a route to upward mobility and career jobs. Many pathway jobs require specific training or a postsecondary credential for applicants to be considered for employment. Nearly two-thirds of workers who fill pathway jobs will have a credential (34 percent) or some college (30 percent). These jobs offer the best starting salaries and opportunities for increased compensation and responsibility.
Career jobs require a higher level of skills, typically evidenced by some form of postsecondary degree, certification, or credential. More than 90 percent of workers filling these jobs will have a credential (73 percent) or some college (18 percent).
Higher skill, higher compensation jobs
Salary Range: $60,000-$100,000+
# of openings: 260,000 OF WORKERS WILL HAVE A CREDENTIAL 73%
CAREER JOBS: 20%
ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS: Jobs that build basic employment skills
Salary Range: $20,000-$30,000
# of openings: 150,000 OF WORKERS WILL HAVE A CREDENTIAL
These jobs offer important opportunities to gain work experience and learn basic skills. They often do not require specific training or a postsecondary credential, though nearly half of workers who fill them will have a credential (20 percent) or some college (24 percent).
Entry-level jobs offer lower compensation and limited opportunities for advancement
as compared to jobs in the other two categories.
READ THE ENTIRE STUDY AT WAROUNDTABLE.COM