While high school seniors planning to attend college may be thinking mostly short term – gaining independence from their parents, joining a sorority or fraternity, decorating their dorm room – they’re also looking ahead to their post-college future.
According to a new survey from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., nearly 3 in 4 high school seniors know what career they want to pursue. STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math) – characteristically some of the hardest positions to fill – top their choices, showing that they may be taking a more active role in bridging the skills gap.
Vacancies up, hires down
Before revealing high school seniors’ post-college plans and their impact on the skills gap, it’s helpful to first explore where the skills gap is felt the most. This can be understood by examining extended vacancies and job postings versus actual hires.
The survey found that 37 percent of hiring managers have positions that, on average, stay open for 12 weeks or longer, up from 35 percent last year. These extended vacancies are especially apparent in information technology (52 percent), health care (49 percent) and manufacturing (44 percent).
The struggle to fill specialized roles is further illustrated in the below list, which includes some of the hardest-to-fill occupations that tend to be vacant for 12 weeks or longer, the average number of jobs posted per month for these roles, and the number of people who are actually hired to fill these positions. The results show that for software developers, nurses, sales reps and network administrators/IT managers, the skilled labor supply is not keeping up with the demand.