The coming tsunami of “green” and electrification jobs plus a large U.S. population of adult learners/GED grads without a college degree is a match made in heaven.

The number of jobs related to electrification and renewable energy is exploding (pun intended). Leading industry associations are projecting the creation of 40 million new jobs globally in the next two decades. In the U.S. specifically, these types of jobs are expected to grow faster than average for all other occupations.

Electrification is becoming even more integrated into our daily lives. Don’t believe me? Just today there was a headline about Walmart planning to install EV charging stations at stores across the country. Drive across any plains state and you’ll see more windmill farms pop up every year, or drive on the interstate and see the increasing number of hybrid or all electric vehicles. You’ll also notice more solar panels powering buildings, and new types of lighting automation in homes to baseball stadiums.

Demand for high-speed internet has also exploded, with the U.S. government also recently allocating almost half a billion dollars to provide access to residents and businesses in rural areas.

OK, so you get it…this is HUGE!  But what does this have to do with adult learners, GED students/grads, and those who are in careers that will be impacted heavily by AI and automation?

Two amazing things:

#1. The overwhelming majority of these jobs won’t require a college degree.

#2. Most of them will pay well – especially when coupled with the fact that no degree will be required.

At GED Testing Service we’ve been working closely with organizations like Julius to build connections between learners and jobs. We’ve worked with them to build concepts of electrification into lesson plans that can be a regular part of GED preparation, all while working with industry leaders, associations and energy companies to create training programs that lead to these jobs. Of course, the jobs require training, but the time and route from diploma to a good job is much faster than those requiring degrees or multi-year college credentials.

We’re also looking for ways to educate learners about career pathways most know little about and provide them on-ramps to these new career pathways. We’re also working with Pearson partners like Credly to badge learners based on verified skills and experience and help them transfer their skills to the next job.

If we can get workforce boards, workforce development policy leaders and legislators involved, we can create a powerful pipeline of qualified workers while providing opportunity for good jobs.