States with the Most Demand for Educated Workers

In the United States, “there will be 55 million job openings through 2020-2022, and 35% of them will require at least a bachelor’s degree,” a recent Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report finds. Confirming this data is a 2017 survey by CareerBuilder that says 41% of the employers in the country are hiring educated workers. The jobs that were once filled by people with just a high-school diploma are now being given to college graduates.

Over the last five years, employers have raised the bar in their hiring criteria, with many of them now preferring college graduates. In fact, research also says the class of 2018 can expect better chances of being hired by employers: a 4% increase in hiring possibilities to be exact.

These numbers imply, among other things, that earning a college degree–and consciously doing a course search to suit the job market–truly matter.

Business development to success and growing growth concept. Businessman pointing arrow graph corporate future growth

Why An Educated Workforce?

A college degree equips people with knowledge and the necessary skills that ultimately, should gain them stable sources of income through business and mostly through employment. It is every student’s dream to be get into reputable colleges and increase their chances of landing a high-paying job in a prestigious firm. But all things considered, education is not only about individual enrichment or fulfillment; it is also key to advancing the country’s economy.

There is evidence that well-paying jobs often go to college graduates. This is because when it comes to hiring an educated workforce, the pros outweigh the cons. For one, by hiring well-informed individuals, businesses can be confident that the benefits can be long-term: an educated individual has broader knowledge and greater potential to take on more responsibility down the road.

With new international markets emerging, an educated workforce is more likely to adapt to new cultures. It is perceived that students who leave home to earn their degree or pursue higher education in prestigious institutions abroad perform better in this respect.

Overall, well-educated workers are “more goal-oriented”, “deliver better work performance”, and better at having “a dynamic perspective and innovative thinking” than less-educated counterparts, according to business information site Bizfluent.

Facts About An Educated Workforce

A firm can have the greatest goods and even the most cutting-edge technology, but it will struggle to succeed without well-trained and educated personnel. Businesses nowadays are more competitive and productive when they have a well-educated workforce with competent personnel. Employers no longer utilize education to “weed out” unsuitable individuals; instead, almost all industries now need advanced qualifications. Employers must now seek applicants with the greatest qualifications as part of the recruiting process.

One advantage of encouraging existing workers to complete their degrees is that they are already familiar with the firm. As a result, firms may spend less time looking for the perfect applicant. The value of a well-educated workforce cannot be overstated. After all, the Lumina Foundation predicts that by 2025, 60% of Americans will require a college degree, workforce certificate, industry certification, or some other level beyond high school.

Why Employers Want An Educated Workforce

It is a frequent misunderstanding that employees solely see the advantages of higher education in the form of increased salaries. That is just not the case. When employers recruit an educated staff, they see a return on investment. Having highly trained and happy employees, fresh and innovative ideas, and even higher earnings and acquisition are advantages of a well-educated staff. Businesses with an educated staff are also more efficient and capable of bringing new and essential technologies to the table.

When it comes to hiring, nothing beats a talented pool of possible workers from which to pick. According to studies, states that value a state’s workforce’s educational attainment have higher median salaries than states that do not invest in education.

Improved pay results in higher employee morale and work satisfaction, all of which contribute to a company’s long-term success. But why not expand the talent pool by promoting from within and encouraging current staff to get their college degrees? Companies that provide employee education benefits experience an 87 percent rise in employee morale and a 40 percent improvement in retention.

Businesses perceive increased revenues as a result of ongoing economic success from personnel who are financially secure. Employees who earn better pay due to their advanced education report intense levels of loyalty to their employers, as well as good morale and job satisfaction. 

Employees who are satisfied with their jobs become future leaders of their organizations and are more inclined to stay since they are valued. Overall, firms with employees who are happy due to higher earnings, owing in part to their education, perceive the benefits of having a well-educated workforce.

However, employee contentment isn’t the only reason why companies desire a well-educated workforce. Increased creativity and innovation improve a company’s capacity to compete. Employers are constantly searching for methods to gain a competitive advantage, and what better way than to have an educated staff that can bring in fresh, new, and inventive ideas?

Employees that are happy, inventive, and well-educated help firms achieve a significant return on investment and expand their prospects. According to the Economic Policy Institute, states noticed a clear link between people with a college degree and economic production. Productivity rises due to inventions made by personnel with college degrees, resulting in higher profitability for firms.

The U.S. States and The Educated Workforce


We list six states that welcome college graduates with better chances at getting a job with a bigger paycheck:


Washington State has a high demand for a college-educated working force.  The main reason? It is home to some of the biggest tech companies such as Microsoft Corporation and Amazon. Proving this fact is the ratio of online job ads for every college-educated worker being three times more than the national average–the highest in the country.

A 2017 report by the Washington Council of Presidents revealed that by 2020, about 70% of the jobs in Washington will require some post-secondary education. Some 33% of companies will hire employees that hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Washington is a magnet for well-educated workers. It attracts several graduates from Rhode Island and West Virginia, two states with significantly lower demand for educated workers but produces a relatively high number of college graduates.


Generally, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics–the STEM courses–are largely favored in Delaware. This doesn’t come as a surprise because there are more than a million business entities, comprising of publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 companies, that are incorporated in the State.

Delaware is ideal for college graduates who hold degrees in healthcare, administration, and related disciplines. A huge chunk of the job vacancies in Delaware requires well-educated workers who specialize in these fields. It is estimated that in the next 5 years, demand for home health aid workers and personal caregivers will increase by at least 100% increase.

In striving to invest in its students in whose hands lie the future of the workforce, the State partners with organizations to fund efforts for students to “pursue continuing education and competitive employment”.


In the year 2016, half of all the working force in Massachusetts has a college degree. This was the first time any US state reached this statistic, as reported by Boston Global News.

In 2017, the state’s dramatic shift in hiring requirements since the year 1979 was in full swing. Almost four decades years prior, only 20% percent of the total working force were holders of a college degree. Today, industry projections in Massachusetts point to employment trends leaning toward Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, Educational Services, Accommodation, and Food Services, Retail Trade, and Manufacturing over a 10-year period.

It is important to note that in Boston, 58% of millennials are college graduates. The city is also home to higher education institutions Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that in the Boston area, one of the identifiable employment regions in the State, the largest local employers are those in the professional and business services, education, and health services industries.


Over a 10-year period ending 2024, projected job openings based on employment growth and replacement needs in Minnesota are in the retail, food preparation, nursing, home health, customer service, administrative, general, and operations industries. The North Star state also has a relatively high concentration of teacher assistant jobs that in most cases require at least an associate’s degree.

The State government is Minnesota’s largest employer. To date, there are more than 50,000 employees across a hundred agencies, commissions, colleges, and universities within the state.

Minnesota’s Employment and Wage Outcomes Report reveals that more than 60% of all holders of Sub-Baccalaureate Certificates, Bachelor’s, Associate, and Graduate degrees end up working in health care and social assistance and education sectors. All these imply that the State is a haven for individuals who have had substantial training and education in these disciplines, underscoring that the skills sets acquired through education “are quite marketable.”


In the State of California, 32% of all residents are holders of bachelor’s degrees or higher, which translates to a massive one-third of its workforce possessing higher education qualifications, like a Master’s or a Doctorate Degree. California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Public Policy institute of California (PPIC) project that by 2020, there will be a 16% increase in the job openings, and 30% of these occupations will require at least a college degree.

With a thriving economy, California’s demand for highly educated workers is on the rise. While this is good news, the State’s higher educational system is not keeping up with this trend. California’s booming economy will need numerous positions filled by 2030, but an estimated shortfall of 1.1 million college graduates is posing a serious problem.


One of the most noteworthy employers in Texas, and with operations in the State since 2013, is Amazon. The retail giant has a software development center in Austin and fulfillment centers in Coppell, Dallas-Fort Worth, Humble, Schertz, and San Marcos. Needless to say, these fulfillment centers, particularly in Dallas, creates hundreds if not thousands of full-time jobs.

The problem? Dallas-Fort Worth produces a relatively low number of college-educated millennials. In fact, the Dallas Regional Chamber launched the “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign in 2017 to lure new, young, college-educated, and competitive talents to fill the numerous job positions as Amazon, among other big companies, flock to the metropolitan. They welcome graduates with a field concentration in technology to add to the growing number of tech workers in the area.