Institutional Research & Planning Blog

Home » 2014 » September

Monthly Archives: September 2014


Middle-Skill Occupations: Opportunities for Community College Students

By Tanysha Q. Laney

Middle-skill occupations or jobs that require some college and/or specialized training are often hard-to-fill and pay better than most think. Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI), a job market and economic analysis firm, developed a report highlighting middle-skill jobs that require only an associate’s or certificate that are predominately found in high-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, sales & marketing, transportation and energy. Community colleges have traditionally been the training ground for such occupations. As such, Institutional Research & Planning decided to conduct a four-part analysis profiling the high-growth sectors that need middle-skill workers. The industries include Health Care, Information Technology, Skilled Trades (Production and Energy) and Business & Finance. The first blog post will focus on Health Care emphasizing job growth within the local area (7.5 mile radius surrounding El Camino College).

Health Care encompasses 78 occupations, including 29 middle-skill jobs that require only an associate’s degree or postsecondary non-degree award (certificate). Health care occupations within the local area are expected to grow 11.0% over the next five years (2013 to 2018), yet middle-skill health care occupations are projected to grow 12.2%. In fact, middle-skill health care occupations are expected to exceed growth rates for health care occupations at the state and county levels over the next five years.

Middle-skill jobs slated to experience the most growth over the next five years include Nursing Assistants, Medical Assistants, Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Pharmacy Technicians.  The industries employing the majority of middle-skill health care occupations include Ambulance Services, Nursing Care Facilities, Offices of Dentists, Offices of Physicians and General Medical & Surgical Hospitals (Private).


Middle Skill Graph 1

Chart 3

To access the report completed by EMSI Inc., please select the link below. (PDF)