How to gain a job as a professional speaker without having an associate degree is becoming more and more popular, with the demand for speaking gigs doubling over the past two years, according to research by consulting firm McKinsey.
The trend began around the same time as the US economy began to recover from the financial crisis and is now taking hold across the world.
A study released last year by McKinsey and Oxford University, titled Why People Want a Job Without a College Degree, found that those who did not have degrees were “significantly more likely to be unemployed” than those with a bachelor’s degree.
The McKinsey research also found that graduates with a higher level of college experience were also more likely than those without to be employed in the US.
For many people, the lack of a degree is a barrier to getting a job in today’s highly competitive and demanding workforce.
“In some cases, it’s a barrier that you need to overcome to get the job you want,” said David Cottrell, senior partner at McKinsey in San Francisco, in a phone interview.
The research also showed that the demand of speaking gigs is rising, with McKinsey estimating that the number of speakers expected to work for the next five years rose to 12.3 million from 9.5 million in 2017.
The growth in demand is in part due to a number of factors, Cottrel said.
“You’re seeing a lot more young people, especially millennials, wanting to get into this industry,” he said.
The number of millennials working in professional speaking has doubled since 2010, according the McKinsey report, with about 40 percent of the total growth.
Many of those millennials have not been attending school, which means they can be on their own in terms of training and learning, according a McKinsey spokesperson.
Many young professionals are going to college to earn degrees that will help them get jobs, but they will not necessarily need to go to a college to get them.
“That is a very important factor, because they are going into a career and going to the next step in their career where they need to know how to communicate in the business world,” Cottell said.
While McKinsey estimates that about 60 percent of graduates with associate degrees are employed by their employer in the United States, about one-third of that group will work in professional-speaking jobs, according McKinsey’s research.
While some professions are seeing an increase in demand, others, such as teaching, are struggling, with just 4.6 percent of American teachers working full-time in 2018, according data from the U.S. Department of Education.
“There is not a whole lot of demand in teaching,” said Cottoll, who said that the hiring of more teachers could be part of the solution.
However, the increase in job opportunities for graduates with bachelor’s degrees may be offset by the lack in available jobs, Camp, the director of research at McKinseys, said.
He said the data from McKinsey does not show that there is a “missing middle” of high-paying occupations.
“The way that you look at it is that it is not clear what the jobs are,” he told ABC News.
The increase in hiring for a career in professional speech is likely to continue, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
“I think what we are seeing is a continuation of the trend that we’ve seen with job growth and hiring for the past 10 years,” Camp said.
Cottrell also believes the demand is largely a reflection of the growing popularity of the online world, and the way people are now interacting with each other on social media.
“If you look around the world, people are using their phones more than ever before,” Cattrell said.
“It is a really important factor that people are getting educated and using the Internet to meet each other, to get job opportunities and to get in touch with friends and family.”
In other words, it seems like a perfect world, but the reality of a professional world that is not as conducive to job satisfaction.ABC News’ Lauren J. Burdick contributed to this report.