Know Where You Fit In: high-skill, middle-skill, and line workers

April 3, 2018

Do you know where you fit in, in the labor force?

The labor force is no longer divided into the white-collar and blue-collar workers. It's actually broken up into three categories:

High-Skilled: a college degree or higher

Middle-Skilled: associates degree or some college courses

Low-Line: high school diploma or GED

When you look closely at U.S. jobs and workers, we're actually over capacity with high-skilled and low-skilled workers. In other words, there are not enough jobs to fill the demand for workers in the two categories. However, the opposite holds true for middle-skilled workers. As a nation, we don't have enough workers to fill the demand for middle-skilled jobs.

This is where the military is poised perfectly to answer the call. When you look at the skills breakdown, of the military, based on education alone - we stand strong at 65% middle-skilled. This does not include all the skills and experience we obtain over the years of our service. Some examples of middle-skilled work are:

As you can tell, most of this work can be found in the military or is work that is transferable based off the skills, aptitude, and experience we acquire while serving.

This data does not mean it's going to be difficult or impossible to find a high-skilled or low-skilled job. Nor does it prove that it will be simple to find middle-skilled work. What this does show is where one fits in by education, and can be used to set expectations or prepare for a proactive transition into the private sector.

For further information, see The Future of the U.S. Workforce. If you're interested in how the workforce breaks down in your home state or the state you wish to call home, check out The National Skills Coalition by state.