Employers across a wide variety of industries report not having enough qualified candidates to fill their open positions. This talent shortage is expected to grow in the coming years, especially in fields that don't require a four-year degree. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of jobs requiring associate's degrees will grow 17.6 percent during the decade between 2012 and 2022.1 As the demand for workers with associate's degrees, career diplomas and career certificates grows - particularly in healthcare, technology and the skilled trades - employers will find a growing pool of career college graduates on the job market. Here are three great reasons to hire them.

They Have Hands-on Experience

Oftentimes, students in bachelor's degree programs graduate college with extensive classroom experience under their belt but little real-world experience. In fact, three out of four employers want colleges to place more emphasis on helping students develop the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings, according to an Association of American Colleges and Universities study conducted by Hart Research Associates.2

This is precisely what makes a post-secondary education at a career college so desirable; students focus almost exclusively on getting the hands-on experience and training they need to start working in their field immediately after graduation. Classes are often focused on experiential learning as opposed to lecture, meaning students are able to get hands on experience in the classroom as part of their curriculum. Plus, they spend their time at career college acquiring the practical, real-world skills that employers need through experiential labs, work experience for school credit and internships at local businesses.

They Are Highly Motivated

A global Gallup poll found that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actively engaged in their jobs.3 For employers, this translates into subpar employee performance, high turnover rates and expensive efforts to replace lost workers and find qualified talent.

Career college graduates, however, come to work with high motivation. 32 percent of career college students are single parents, according to Imagine America Foundation's 2015 Factbook of Career Colleges and Universities, while 80 percent are financially independent4. An individual who can complete school while raising kids and managing their own finances is a motivated, goal-driven person, making for an employee with a strong work ethic.

They Have Proven Time Management Skills

Do you want your new hires to know how to organize and manage multiple priorities at the same time? The ability to juggle school, work and raising a family also attests to excellent time management skills - a skill 62 percent of employers agreed can be learned through parenting, according to CareerBuilder's annual Mother's Day survey.5

Someone who has effectively demonstrated this ability at home and school also has the skills required to be an effective time manager at work. Such a person is also more likely to possess other good work habits, such as punctuality and the ability to work under pressure - additional qualities that employers want in their employees.

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Resources: Photo credit. (1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2) Association of American Colleges and Universities (3) Gallup (4) 2015 Factbook: A Profile of Career Colleges and Universities (5) CareerBuilder