The State of Rhode Island Public Education

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Education and the workforce

How the system is working

Workforce opportunities for Rhode Island students by education level and field

According to recent estimates, more than seven in 10 Rhode Island jobs will require some kind of postsecondary education by 2020. Likewise, blue-collar jobs have the lowest projected growth rate among the occupations available to our students.

Percentage of jobs requiring minimum levels of education by 2020 (projected)
High school diploma or less
Some college, an associate’s degree, or postsecondary vocational certification
Bachelor’s degree
Master’s degree or higher
High school diploma or less
Some college, an associate’s degree, or postsecondary vocational certification
Bachelor’s degree
Master’s degree or higher
Occupational growth rates in Rhode Island, 2010–2020 (projected)
2010 Jobs 2020 Jobs Growth Rate
STEM fields18,46022,90024%
Social sciences2,5303,13024%
Healthcare support18,62023,02024%
Managerial and professional office59,51072,06021%
Healthcare professional and technical25,82030,45018%
Community services and arts24,79029,02017%
Education31,76036,88016%
Food and personal services80,96093,38015%
Sales and office support128,050146,90015%
Blue collar84,38091,7609%
Total474,870549,49016%
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Source
  1. “Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020,” Georgetown University (June 2013), pp. 3-7, accessed December 15, 2015, https://cew.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/StateProjections_6.1.15_agc_v2.pdf.

Education level and earnings

As the demand for college-educated workers grows, students without postsecondary credentials are seeing large gaps in earning potential.

Median earnings in the past 12 months by educational attainment for individuals age 25 and over
Source
  1. “Median earnings in the past 12 months (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars) by sex by education attainment for the population 25 years and over,” U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder (using guided search), accessed December 17, 2015, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml.