Career Readiness

To meet the needs of Iowa’s future workforce, students need to leave college prepared for high-demand careers. High-demand careers include those identified by Iowa Workforce Development as Iowa’s top 50 “Hot Jobs”: jobs that are projected to grow faster and have a higher rate of pay than the average occupation in Iowa. More than half of Iowa’s “Hot Jobs” are also STEM jobs.1

Since 2010, the number of STEM degrees awarded to students at Iowa’s public universities has increased by 12 percent, while those awarded to students at private colleges and universities has increased by 11 percent. The number of STEM degrees awarded to community college students has remained constant since 2010. However, the number of minority students completing STEM degrees at community colleges has risen by 69 percent.2

Community College Outcomes

Many community college students continue to pursue education after obtaining their associate degrees. Over half (58 percent) of community college graduates between 2010 and 2012 were enrolled in postsecondary education during the first year following their degree attainment. Students who went directly into the workforce accounted for 37 percent of community college graduates.1

There is currently a large gap between the demand for workers with middle-skills—more than a high school diploma yet less than a four-year degree—and the number of Iowans in the workforce prepared for middle-skill jobs. This is particularly apparent in health care occupations.3 Of all students completing associate degrees in Iowa between 2010 and 2014, 26 percent obtained their degrees in health care-related fields.4

1)     Iowa Workforce Development. (2015). Iowa’s Workforce and the Economy.
2)     Heiden, E. O., Kemis, M., Gillon, K. E., Whittaker, M., Park, K.H., & Losch, M. E. (2015). Iowa STEM Monitoring Project, 2014-2015 Annual Report. Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.
3)     Iowa Skills2Compete Coalition. (2016). 2016 Workforce Policy Agenda: Building on Smart Investments in Iowa’s Workforce and Industries.
4)     Iowa Department of Education Division of Community Colleges. (2016). Education Outcomes: Certificates, Diploma and Associate Degree Programs.

Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on May 24, 2018 at 2:59am.