Discussion Paper

Opportunity Occupations: Well-Paying Jobs for Middle-Skill Workers

Abstract: Did you know that only 29.7 percent of Americans over the age of 25 have attained a four-year college degree? Given many policymakers' focus on increasing the share of individuals who attain a degree, that may sound like a surprisingly low number. It leaves a large group of American workers who do not have a four-year degree and lack the means or desire to obtain one in the current labor market. In fact, "middle-skill" Americans, defined as those who have obtained their high school diploma but not a four-year college degree, comprise some 57 percent of the country's total population of those over 25. That begs the question, what opportunities and decent-paying jobs exist for these workers? And how can workforce development policies and career education increase access to these positions?

Keywords: opportunity occupations; workforce development;

JEL Classification: J21;


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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: Workforce Currents

Publication Date: 2017-11-08

Number: 2017-02