That depends. The online world has become more popular in recent years as the number of Americans enrolling in online education has grown nearly fourfold to over 500,000 now. But those who take courses via the Internet can still be counted in the number of open positions.
“It doesn’t mean that you necessarily need an online degree. Some people, especially in technology, have very good, on-the-job skills that can be useful, but maybe not if they’re sitting in front of the computer,” says Kevin Carey, the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque academic director for the National Center for Higher Education Management at the private sector consulting firm Accenture.
Carey says it’s especially important to keep in mind who can take online courses.
In the first quarter of 2017, 44 percent of new jobs were listed on the job market sites CareerSite.com or Monster.com as being held by graduates of online higher education institutions. That’s more jobs than in the first quarter of 2015, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s that same trend that helps explain why employers have been wooing such college graduates like the one we see here in a recent ad for construction workers:
“Curious about the possibilities of a career in construction? Interested in learning more about careers in the construction business, construction trades, trades with trade schools, and/or apprentices/trainees?” the ad reads. No. 1 in a field? No. 1 in a city? No.
The ad doesn’t list a company or any specific requirements. And while they do advertise the job in a specific location of Philadelphia, Carey says, they won’t be recruiting in the area.
“It’s hard to convince companies they can’t find some other location than the one they would have for construction work. Companies just don’t want to hire this person in Philadelphia.” Carey says.
So far, that’s been the case at least for the construction industry, according to a survey by the Association of State and Territorial Builders (ASB). The survey shows that of the 12,600 construction jobs that the firm surveyed between April and July 2016, roughly 2,500 were listed on job boards that are not considered to be recruiting, such as Craigslist or job boards that advertise only in cities.
That survey doesn’t tell us how many construction companies and jobs are being advertised by online companies. And the number depends on how much online sites are willing to advertise
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