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Opinion
Aaron Brown

What College Enrollment Trends Say About the New Economy

Demand is booming for “science of blue-collar occupation” degrees.

College degrees are trending more toward blue collar occupations.

College degrees are trending more toward blue collar occupations.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images 

We know the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the U.S. workforce forever. What we don’t know for sure is how the changes will play out. Some are accelerations of trends that began around the time of the financial crisis in 2008 or earlier, while others were directly inspired by the pandemic. Still others were temporary dislocations that will revert. But it’s anyone’s guess which changes are which.

Rather than focusing on current numbers that are confusing, we may get a clearer picture by looking at trends in college enrollment. These represent decisions made by individuals today considering their own long-term futures.