Finding Jobs Online Depends on Your Education Level and Your Major

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a monthly report on the number of job openings each month. The latest number is an astonishing 4.8 million with about 4.3 million of those jobs in the private sector. Connecting people to those job openings has always been a challenge, but technology has come a long way in creating job boards and other online sites to help people find employment.

Burning Glass, a company that focuses on real time labor market information claims to have a database on posted job openings that totals about 4 million jobs and that database is updated each day.

The Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce analyzed some of the past Burning Glass data to determine the characteristics, such as education level and occupational category, of those jobs posted online. It seems that the scale is tilted in favor of people with a Bachelor’s degree and less so for jobs requiring less than a college degree.

According to the report authors, “Our estimates indicate that more than 80 percent of job openings for workers with a Bachelor’s degree or better are posted online. In comparison, less than 50 percent of job openings for workers with less education are posted online.”

Further, managerial and STEM job postings accounted for about 60% of the job postings suggesting that these were the most in demand job areas available. Managerial jobs represented 33% of the online postings while STEM jobs were at 28%. Medical/health services; sales; financial; and marketing managers are the most in-demand management occupations. IT professionals jobs postings comprised about 75% of the STEM jobs.

Takeaways for Career Services Staff

If you are focused on helping students and clients with the job hunt who have or will be obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, time spent on online job boards seems to be a fruitful activity.

If you work with students or clients with an education level lower than a Bachelor’s, you may need to rely on other sources for jobs such as networking, contacting specific employers, working with industry representatives, etc. because about half of the jobs in this education category are not to be found posted online.

For students and clients at all education levels, knowing labor market information, such as which jobs are in most demand, is an essential part of informed career decision making. Career services professionals and academic advisors must also keep track of other important labor market data including the fastest growing jobs, occupations that will have the most new jobs, areas that will have the most job openings, occupations that have the highest pay, occupations that are declining in importance in the US economy, etc.

Related Resources:

The Online College Labor Market

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Where the Job Are

Online Courses at

Labor Market Information for the Career, Workforce and Academic Advisors and Workforce Counselor

Realistic Career Decision Making: It’s More Than Passion

Occupational Information for the Career Advisor is an NBCC-approved Continuing Education Provider


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