China: World's Largest Supplier Of Educated Workers

china educated workforce

By Annalyn Censky

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Low-wage, unskilled labor was once its competitive edge, but now China is quickly rising as the world's largest supplier of college-educated workers.

By 2030, China alone will account for 30 percent of the world's new college-educated workers, predicts a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.

In comparison, the United States will account for only 5 percent, and collectively, advanced countries including the U.S., Japan and much of Europe will account for only 14 percent of new highly educated workers.

"Investments in education that China made much earlier are now paying off," said Anu Madgavkar, a senior fellow for the McKinsey Global Institute. "China invested in opening a lot of schools and they ramped up college enrollment."

China is also churning out far more science, technology, engineering and mathematics grads, giving it a leg up in some of the world's fastest growing sectors.

In 2008, only 14 percent of U.S. grads earned degrees in those specialties, whereas 42% of China's college grads did so.

Overall, the results of the study point to a global need for more college grads. It predicts employers around the world will be faced with a shortage of 38 million college-educated workers and a surplus of 90 million unskilled workers in 2030.

"An unprecedented level of response is required to raise education rates and then on the other hand, we also need a concerted effort to create more jobs for low-skilled workers," Madgavkar said.

In advanced countries, the imbalance is worrisome because it could lead to more income inequality and long-term joblessness, the report said.

"The polarization of incomes between high and low-skill workers could become even more pronounced, slowing the advance in national living standards, and increasing public-sector burdens and social tensions," it said.

And in developing countries, the shortage of high-skilled workers could stunt innovation and growth.

Madgavkar's calculations predict that Chinese employers will need 140 million college-educated workers in 2020, about 23 million more than the country will be able to supply.

With roughly 1.4 billion people, China is the world's most populous nation and the second largest economy. Its workforce of 475 million people accounts for roughly two thirds of the entire global labor force.







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37 Comments

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"KING" James

As I read most of the ‘Anti-USA” comments, I have only one suggestion. If you don’t like it here, get the hell out, and go live where you think it’s better. Now . . .please . . .please do not try to hand me that old tired line, “But this is my country and I have a right to say what i want about it and I don’t want to leave, I just want to improve the USA.” Well, get the hell on with your improvements. What have you recently contributed to the improvement USA? I already know the answer . . . . .”NOTHING.” I guess it’s hard to contribute while you are standing in the “hand-out line” ******* off whatever the State or Federal Government can give you. Try to be self sufficient for a change .

June 19 2012 at 3:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fed Up

The United States is now 23rd on the list for education. And the Republicans want to make more cuts to eduction. "We have enough teachers" Considering that most of the Big (Republican Run) Corporations are sending most of their manufacturing overseas, they could be right. We do score high on Self Esteem. At least we THINK we're more educated, even if we rank in the lower middle of the civilized countries.

June 18 2012 at 6:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wllmpartridge

Does it make sense, in light of these stats, for Mitt Romney to be talking about cutting American teachers? The guy couldn´t be more out of touch with the need of our country to double down on educational investment, rehire all those thousands of teachers that have been axed by the states, and ensure America´s future competiveness through revitalization of higher education.

June 18 2012 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hswremann

Education is one thing ( .But .For China Building well Built Products that are not Inferior in Quality and Dangerous to Consumers in all Countries that Import Their Products ) that is not a suit that fits her well at all ..on most Products....

June 18 2012 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
klasakt

And yet, with all that education, they are still primarily working in factories at jobs that require little if any education. I remember when I was getting my degree. There were 14 Ph.D. candidates for every Ph.D. job opening. And it is worse today.

June 18 2012 at 5:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
syd

Well then, if China is so educated and Americans aren't, help Americans become educated. Other countries and their governments make it much easier for the masses to get an education, Either in apprenticeships, trade and technical educations as well as in universities. Sometimes the education at the university level is free. Yes they pay more in taxes but look at what they get in return. In some countries, it doesn't take that long to move into your chosen field because you don't have to take a ton of unnecessary courses that have nothing to do with your career. That should be taken taken into consideration also. The colleges and universities here in the US have become nothing but big money making machines that squeeze has much money out students as they can. Thus increasingly causing kids who can't afford it, to drop out, which lowers our competitiveness with the rest of the world. Our system of education from pre-school through the university level needs a serious over-haul.

June 18 2012 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keedyk87

And Dennis is one of them!

June 18 2012 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keedyk87

There is a difference between being Trained and being Educated. One teaches you to manipulate Things outside of yourself. The other teaches you to be aware of what goes on inside of yourself. People of this Materialistic modern world hardly ever get a good Education regardless of the Country. They are mainly trained fragmented air heads who only know ONE THING well!

June 18 2012 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keedyk87's comment
hswremann

I Agree Keedyk87 I was trained well and I had someone that I worked with a while ago with about 3 Different Degrees and not that its everything but they didnt even know the Basics of Microsoft excell or office,Powerpoint etc..I have about 20 + Years in Experience with no degrees to back myself up and once I showed them how to do what they needed to know They treated me with the Utmost Arrogance and like I was not needed ..It was How ever Noticed and after a while They were spoken to about it and were told by our HR Department they would rather have someone like myself who truly cared about their Job and did it well then someone who was Demeaning to other Employees ( My self especially ) even though they had an education .They were let go and told Their services were no longer needed ..

June 18 2012 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
keedyk87

There is a difference between being Trained and being Educated. One teaches you to manipulate Things outside of yourself. The other teaches you to be aware of what goes on inside of yourself. People of this Materialistic modern world hardly ever get a good Education regardless of the Country. They are mainly trained fragmented air heads who only know ONE THING well!

June 18 2012 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to keedyk87's comment
Rap Scallion

HAHAHA How true...........It takes a BUNCH OF ENGINEERS, to build a car, but only one mechanic to fix them. You want a good honest good paying steady job, go to a trade school and learn how to do what people can't do for them selves......How much an hour do pulmbers make??????

June 18 2012 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dennis

I lived and worked there for 10+ years and I can attest to the fact that the workforce is educated and competent. In addition to being able to express themselves, even the non-engineers are competent in math and some sciences. It is sad to see what is happening in this country where we are turning out people with degrees that will provide them with a questionable future and with marginal language skills.

June 18 2012 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dennis's comment
Rap Scallion

You want to educate them to build things, not to consume things! There is a huge difference!

June 18 2012 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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