OK, you've just graduated from high school and you're headed to college.

Now what?

What should you major in? What types of work will be available in five years? The job market is evolving, so we thought it's a good time to take a deeper look.

First off, the job market isn't changing as much as you might have heard. The Minnesota economy by 2022 will demand a slightly lower-skill workforce than it does today, according to a Star Tribune analysis of projections from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. But the change will not be dramatic.

The share of jobs classified as low skill will grow a little, the share of jobs classified as middle skill will decline a little, and the share of jobs requiring high skill workers will be up ever so slightly.

Low-skill jobs are those that don't require education beyond high school. Middle-skill jobs are those that require some advanced education, but not a bachelor's degree. High-skill jobs are those that require a bachelor's degree or higher.


One thing to note: All the research says it’s better for a person's long-term earnings to get a four-year college degree, and a liberal arts degree has benefits beyond the financial. But if you are drawn to a technical degree or some kind of practical training, look into it seriously.

The latest projections show that about 22 percent of jobs in Minnesota will require a four-year degree in 2022. That’s unchanged from 10 years earlier, even though the share of the young population with a four-year degree is 40 percent, higher than it is for their parents, and higher than the share of jobs that require such a degree.

In other words, it may not be a good idea to spend $40,000 a year on college without thinking it through carefully.

We've built a searchable database for you to check out the expected growth in each occupation in Minnesota. Search either by a specific occupation or an occupation group (for example, searching for "healthcare" will return many occupations that fall under that umbrella). You can also filter by an educational level such as bachelor's degree or associate's degree or by the skill level categories.

The initial list is showing occupations with the highest expected growth rate, regardless of skill level.


If you'd like to learn more about any of these occupations, we recommend checking out the occupation profiles on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics site.

Data Drop is a weekly feature that uses data analysis and visualizations to explain, surprise, inform and entertain readers on topics relevant to Minnesotans. Do you have an idea you'd like us to explore? Contact MaryJo Webster