Home » OPINION » Columns » MBJ Editorial
Education crucial to job growth in South

MBJ Editorial

The Southern Rural Development Center (SRDC) has released a study examining the challenges workers in the rural South will face in the coming decades. What did the center’s researchers find?

Not surprisingly, education will play the decisive role in whether a worker finds a high-paying, secure job or is stuck in one low-paying, part-time, dead-end job after the other. “The Changing Nature of Work in the South: The Polarization of Tomorrow’s Workforce” asserts that as the 21st century begins, the workforce in the rural South will be divided between the two extremes. Information technology will also be an increasingly important factor.

“Jobs are declining in the manufacturing sector and humans are being replaced with technology. We will see this shape the workforce of tomorrow because workers will need the skills to use this technology,” said Dr. Bo Beaulieu, director of the SRDC at Mississippi State University.

The study found that more than half of the fastest-growing jobs will require at least an associate’s degree and seven of the top 20 will require a bachelor’s degree. What can Mississippi workers do to prepare themselves and compete for the best jobs?

“To be competitive, education is the bottom line,” said MSU graduate research assistant and report co-author. “There are plenty of jobs open for low-skilled workers, but we want the workforce to compete for jobs that will provide a secure future.”

Mississippi’s public and private colleges and universities and community colleges are an important resource for training, research and learning. In the future, it will be critical for the state’s businesses and industries to partner with higher education to build a stronger, more stable economy which offers every Mississippian a chance to succeed.


… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Staff Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *