Gap Between Career Interests and Projected Job Openings
The ACT data point to a disconnect between the types of careers that graduates are interested in pursuing and the types of jobs likely to be available to them. The percentage of ACT-tested graduates interested in careers in the five fastest growing fields according to the U.S. Department of Labor—education, computer/information specialties, community services, management and marketing/sales—was less than the projected demand for workers in each case.
“Over the years, we’ve seen the impact that inadequate college and career readiness has had on the U.S. economy,” said ACT Workforce President Martin Scaglione. “Employers have said it is becoming increasingly difficult to match their job openings with workers who have proven skills. We must connect academic skill development in K-12 education to the skills these students will need to get a good job. ACT is hard at work developing new initiatives that will help achieve this goal.”
Number of test takers
More than 1.66 million 2012 graduates—52 percent of the entire U.S. graduation class—took the ACT, including virtually all students in nine states. This represents a record level of participation for the eighth consecutive year. In Maryland, numbers were up from 10,740 in 2008 to 13,334 this year but the still reflect just 21 percent of the total number of graduates.
The full national report and each state ACT report can be viewed and downloaded for free on ACT’s website.