New report says the economy will create 55 million new jobs over the next decade and 65 percent will require post-secondary education.

If you're pursuing a college degree, stay the course.

A new study says that there could be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020. Twenty-four million of those openings will be from newly created jobs and 31 million openings will be due to baby boomer retirements.

The study, conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, states: "Notwithstanding failure to resolve the federal government's budgetary challenges, the U.S. economy will grow from 140 million to 165 million jobs by 2020."

In total, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school.

Titled Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements through 2020, the report predicts that without major changes to the U.S. post-secondary education system, however, the economy will fall short 5 million workers with post-secondary degrees by 2020.

Here are some other findings from the study:

  • 6 million jobs will require a graduate degree

  • 13 million jobs will require a baccalaureate degree

  • 7 million jobs will require an associate's degree

  • Post-secondary education will be most in demand in healthcare, information technology, and government, where 80 percent of jobs will require more than a high school diploma.

  • Job openings in healthcare, community services, and STEM will grow the fastest among occupational clusters.

The report says that the United States is more educated than ever. In 1973, workers with post-secondary education held only 28 percent of jobs. By comparison, they held 59 percent of jobs in 2010 and will hold 65 percent of jobs in 2020.

The study also finds that for the upcoming jobs, the skills most valued and in demand are in leadership, communication, and analysis. Of all occupations, 96 require critical thinking and active listen to be either very important or extremely important to success.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula and career pathways. It is affiliated with the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

Visit the center's site to read either an executive summary or the full report.

What do you think about the study? Are you optimistic about the future of the job market?

Other posts you may be interested in reading:

Are You Preparing Now To Walk The Job Market Tightrope?

5 Reasons Why Earning Your College Degree Is Worth It

Why Developing A Good Work Ethic Is Essential To Career Success

Photo Credit: Saint Leo University Communications