According to the 1996 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment prospects for adult educators are "expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2005 as the demand for adult education programs continues to rise." The Monthly Labor Review (Nov., 1995) projects 422,000 job openings for Adult Education instructors and teachers and 176,000 for education administrators by 2005.
The projected need for formally trained adult educators is expected to grow significantly in the years to come. Reasons for this anticipated growth include:
- The 35-44 year old population (the largest user of adult education) is expected to grow.
- Participation in continuing education grows as more people realize that lifelong learning is important to success in their careers.
- Changes in immigration policy require basic competency in English and civics, and there is an increased awareness of the difficulty in finding a good job without basic academic skills.
- Young adults need to be trained for entry-level jobs.
- Experienced workers who want to switch fields or whose jobs have been eliminated due to changing technology or business reorganization need to be trained for new employment possibilities.
- Organizations have begun to recognize the need to provide workforce training to remain productive and globally competitive.
Education is no longer a terminal activity; it has become an ongoing, lifelong endeavor for individuals of all ages. Accordingly, many job openings for adult educators will continue to develop.