Employment of postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as enrollments at postsecondary institutions continue to rise.
The number of people attending postsecondary institutions is expected to grow from 2010 to 2020. These students will seek higher education to gain the additional education and skills they need to meet their career goals. As more people enter colleges and universities, more postsecondary teachers will be needed to serve these additional students.
Employment is expected to grow fastest in for-profit institutions, which have experienced rapid enrollment growth over the past decade. This trend is expected to continue from 2010 to 2020.
However, despite expected increases in enrollment, employment growth in public colleges and universities will depend on state and local government budgets. When state and local governments have budget deficits, they may lay off employees. As a result, employment growth may be somewhat dampened by state and local government budget deficits.
Colleges and universities are moving away from tenure-track positions and toward adjunct and part-time positions. As a result, there is a lot of competition for tenure-track positions. Still, opportunities should be available for part-time or adjunct professors.
In addition, a number of postsecondary teachers are expected to retire, creating opportunities for new people entering the field.
Some specialties, such as nursing and engineering, will likely experience better job prospects than others, such as those in the humanities.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition