Five years ago in a post, I described a thesis study by Lauren Cooper on potential solutions to the looming workforce gap in California. Her analysis was based primarily on projections of California workforce needs in 2025 made by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Dr Cooper's analysis of the CSU - level workforce shortfall suggested that CSU needed to open 12 new campuses by 2025 to meet needs - an unlikely solution to the problems given the finances of California.
PPIC has just published an updated California workforce projection, this time aiming at 2030 needs. The new projections are similar to the earlier ones:
Our projections indicate that the demand for college graduates will outpace the supply by 2030, if current trends continue. The gap is substantial, with the economy needing 1.1 million more college graduates than the state will produce. But if the state, its educational institutions, and its people are able to improve educational outcomes, California and its residents will experience a much more successful future, with higher incomes, greater tax revenues, and lower use of social services.
Pretty much what we saw 5 years ago. Very few steps have been taken over this period to improve the situation, despite some strong efforts by Governor Brown to create movement.
The key to a better future for California residents is obviously the California public university sector. Thus far, that sector has proclaimed loudly and consistently that it cannot increase the number of graduates significantly without proportional increases in budget, i.e. it cannot find more effective and more efficient ways of educating students. This position is of very questionable merit, since numerous institutions around the country have rethought their educational approaches in order to increase participation without sacrificing educational outcomes - and in many cases have improved educational outcomes in the process.
But the bottom line remains, California's future prosperity is largely in the hands of a public higher education system that thus far has fiercely and successfully defended the status quo, supported by regents who view their job to be to protect the university rather than the State and its citizens. Surely, there is a responsible adult somewhere in the mix.