A new report from Carolina Demography and the John M. Belk Endowment shows that the fastest growing jobs in North Carolina now require more education.

Director of Carolina Demography Rebecca Tippett says the states fastest-growing jobs in areas such as health care, computers and personal care and service occupations, all typically require some sort of educational training past high school.

“Increasingly employment that provides a family-sustaining wage requires additional educational training beyond high school,” says Tippett. “And when we’re talking about post-secondary education or post secondary attainment, this is a really broad term that includes everything from a license that might allow you to drive a school bus to a PhD and everything in between.”

While 47 percent of North Carolinians between the ages of 25 and 64 have a post-secondary degree or non degree credential, Tippett says this number must increase to meet the demands for a highly skilled and educated workforce.

“One of the concerns that we had was, if we know that this is an important need for both individuals, for economic stability and our state to be economically competitive, where are we know as a state?” says Tippet. “What are opportunities to improve attainment outcomes and enclose known gaps between groups of students.”

Tippett says one of the most surprising gaps illuminated by this study was that of race, even in highly educated areas such as the Triangle.

“Our Black and Hispanic students in the North Central region are graduating are graduating high school at the lowest average rate of any region statewide,” says Tippett. “I think thats a real point of concern.”

The next phase of research will focus more on regional disparities.

The study is available here.