Canary in the coal mine for coding bootcamps? — from theview.substack.com by gordonmacrae; with thanks to Mr. Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

If you run a software development bootcamp, a recent Burning Glass institute report should keep you awake at night.

The report, titled How Skills Are Disrupting Work, looks at a decade of labor market analysis and identifies how digital skill training and credentials have responded to new jobs.

Three trends stuck out to me:

  • The most future-proof skills aren’t technical
  • Demand for software development is in decline
  • One in eight postings feature just four skill sets

These three trends should sound a warning for software development bootcamps, in particular. Let’s see why, and how you can prepare to face the coming challenges.


Also relevant/see:

Issue #14: Trends in Bootcamps — from theview.substack.com by gordonmacrae

Excerpt:

Further consolidation of smaller providers seems likely to continue in 2023. A number of VC-backed providers will run out of money.

A lot of bootcamps will be available cheaply for any larger providers, or management companies. Growth will continue to be an option in the Middle East, as funding doesn’t look like drying up any time soon. And look for the larger bootcamps to expand into hire-train-deploy, apprenticeships or licensing.

As Alberto pointed out this week, it’s hard for bootcamps to sustain the growth trajectory VC’s expect. But there are other options available.


 

Incremental Change Didn’t Save Blockbuster. It Won’t Save Education, Either — from the74million.org by Mike Miles; with thanks to Rob Reynolds for this resource
Broken public school systems need wholescale change if they are going to prepare students for the skills they will need by 2035

Excerpt:

Perhaps the biggest failure of the current education ecosystem is its inability to envision what the future holds for our students and to make systemic changes now to prepare them for that future. Shackled to a monolithic, change-resistant system, school and district leaders continue to make incremental and piecemeal changes to a broken system expecting to get different outcomes.

In an analogous way, almost all public-school systems are like Blockbusters in the late 1990s — unwilling to assess the impact of technological advances and consider how they might need to revisit their design principles. In the end, if an organization does not move purposefully toward some likely future, then any path forward will do, and it is likely to be the path they are currently on.

From DSC:
The following quote…

Using a split-screen strategy, a district would not attempt to make systemic changes district-wide. Rather, it would implement transformative changes in one or two schools while continuing to make incremental improvements in the rest of the district. Once the schools operating with the new system principles achieve the outcomes and succeed, they will become proof points to allow the district to implement systemic change in even more schools over a period of time.

…made me think of a graphic (see below) — and an article out at evoLLLtion.com — I developed a while back re: the need for more Trim Tab Groups. I think we’re talking about the same thing here.

 

 

Unbundled: Designing Personalized Pathways for Every Learner — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen “with contributions from the Getting Smart team and numerous friends and partners in the field”

Excerpts:

In this publication, we articulate the critical steps needed to unbundle the learning ecosystem, build core competencies, design learning experiences, curate new opportunities, and rebundle these experiences into coherent pathways.
.

Building the Unbundled Ecosystem

Vision

Every learner deserves an unlimited number of unbundled opportunities to explore, engage, and define experiences that advance their progress along a co-designed educational pathway. Each pathway provides equitable and personalized access to stacked learning experiences leading to post-secondary credentials and secure family-sustaining employment. Throughout the journey, supportive coaches focus on helping learners build skills to navigate with agency. In parallel, learners develop foundational skills (literacy, math), technical skills, and durable skills and connect these to challenging co-designed experiences. The breadth and depth of experiences increase over time, and, in partnership, learners and coaches map progress towards reaching community-defined goals. This vision is only enabled by an unbundled learning ecosystem.

Recommendations

Solutions already exist in the ecosystem and need to be combined and scaled. Funding models (like My Tech High), badging/credentialing at the competency level (like VLACS), coaching models (like Big Thought), and open ecosystems (like NH Learn Everywhere) provide an excellent foundation. Thus, building unbundled systems has already begun but needs systemic changes to become widely available and accepted.

      1. Build a robust competency-based system.
      2. Create a two-way marketplace for unbundled learning.
      3. Implement policy to support credit for out-of-system experiences.
      4. Invest in technology infrastructure for Learning and Employment Records.
      5. Design interoperable badging systems that connect to credentials.
 

What is college for? Gov. Shapiro raises the question. Higher ed leaders are listening. — from The Philadelphia Inquirer by Will Bunch; with thanks to Ray Schroeder out on LinkedIn for the resource
Pa.’s new governor Josh Shapiro’s first move was to question the need of a college diploma as a job credential. U.S. universities, pay attention.

Excerpt:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — What is college actually for?

No one expected this to be the initial question raised by Pennsylvania’s new governor, Josh Shapiro, in his first full day on the job. While he may not have stated it explicitly, this was the essence of the Democrat’s very first executive order, which opened up some 92% of job listings in state government — about 65,000 in all — to applicants who don’t have a four-year college degree.

In branding degree requirements for many jobs as “arbitrary” and declaring “there are many different pathways to success,” the Keystone State’s new chief executive was tugging at the shaky Jenga block that has undergirded the appalling rise of a $1.75 trillion student debt bomb in the U.S. and led, arguably, to a college/non-college divide driving our nation’s bitter politics. The notion is this: You can’t make it in 21st-century America without that most expensive piece of sheepskin: the college diploma.

So the $64,000 question (OK, $80,000 … for one year on some elite private campuses) is this: If you don’t need the credential, do you actually need college?

Something is clearly gained by giving America’s young people more career options that won’t contribute to that $1.75 trillion college debt bomb. But are we talking enough about what could be lost in a new system that not only devalues the university but also seems to ratify a dubious idea — that higher education is almost solely about careerism, and not the wider knowledge and critical-thinking skills that come from liberal arts learning?

From DSC:
To me — and to many other parents and families — it all boils down to the price tag of obtaining a liberal arts education. It’s one thing to get a liberal arts education at $5K per year. It’s another thing when the pricetag runs at $40K and above (per year)! Most people ARE FORCED to question the ROI of a liberal arts education. They simply have to.

On a relevant tangent here…many inside the academy have traditionally looked with disdain at the corporate world. The thinking went something like this:

Business! Ha! We are not a business! Students are not customers. Don’t ever compare us to the corporate world.

Having spent half of my career in the corporate world, I do not subscribe to that perspective. In fact, I’d like to ask those who still hold this point of view:
  • Where else can you pay tens of thousands of dollars for something and not be treated as a customer?! Don’t you typically expect value on your own purchases and positive returns on your investments?
  • How will you collaborate with the corporate world if you look upon them with disdain?!

But now that colleges and universities enrollments are not doing so well, perhaps there will be more openness to change and towards developing more impactful collaborations.

 

Phoenix Goes Nonprofit? — from read.letterhead.email by Paul Fain

Excerpt:

“We’re seeing dramatically increased competitive intensity,” he said. “Being online is no longer a differentiator.”

Also from Paul Fain:

A true alternative to a four-year college? — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org
The Marcy Lab School in New York City aims to offer a traditional college experience in just one year. We talked with co-founder Reuben Ogbonna about experimentation, growth, and student choice in higher ed.

Times Square in New York City -- Photo by Paulo Silva via Unsplash

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

In our current landscape, jobs for young people that fall into this category are incredibly slim, but we see this as our opportunity to systematically remove the barriers, such as degree requirements, that shut out students like ours. Together with our partners, we are actively reframing what early talent success can look like.

Partners that “get it” are energized by the ability to co-create innovative new programs like apprenticeships with us directly. They are incredibly student-centric, and firmly believe in the power of growth for our students in professional environments that are fun, challenging, rewarding, and safe.

The success of our innovative model has been through intentional experimentation and thoughtful listening to what is working and not working, and then iterating on it. 

 

It takes a village — from chieflearningofficer.com by Joe Mitchell
Colleges, companies and training providers have a unique opportunity to work together to address tech worker shortages and create more opportunities and upward mobility.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But what higher education institutions and companies need isn’t a totally new approach that ignores the old systems — it’s someone to act as connective tissue between them. Fortunately, an emerging cadre of education providers are doing just that: developing the curriculum to help students earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them get good jobs right away in high-demand fields, and then working with universities to get that curriculum to their students.

The environment seems ripe for this type of collaboration.2020 survey of business leaders found that 70 percent think higher education institutions should be more involved in job training. Nearly 90 percent say colleges and universities could help their students learn industry-specific knowledge and advanced technical skills.

 

From DSC:
Below is another example of the need for Design Thinking as we rethink a cradle-to-grave learning ecosystem.


The United States Needs a Comprehensive Approach to Youth Policy — from cew.georgetown.edu

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

On the education front, federal legislation serves as an umbrella for many state and local policies and programs. Education policy is further fragmented into K–12 and postsecondary silos.

An all-one-system approach to youth policy would support young people along the entire continuum of their journey from school to work. It would help them attain both postsecondary education and quality work experience to support their transitions from education to good jobs. In this modernized approach, preschools, elementary and secondary schools, community colleges, four-year universities, employers, and governments would all follow an integrated playbook, helping to smooth out young people’s path from pre-K–12 to college and work. To transform youth policy, systemic reforms should incorporate the following:

 

From DSC:
Perhaps such a network type of setup could provide audio-visual-based links that people could provide to one another.

 

GPT Takes the Bar Exam — from papers.ssrn.com by Michael James Bommarito and Daniel Martin Katz; with thanks to Gabe Teninbaum for his tweet on this

Excerpt from the Abstract (emphasis DSC):

While our ability to interpret these results is limited by nascent scientific understanding of LLMs and the proprietary nature of GPT, we believe that these results strongly suggest that an LLM will pass the MBE component of the Bar Exam in the near future.

LLM — Large Language Model
MBE — Multistate Bar Examination

 

From DSC:
For me, I wish politicians and legislators would stay out of the way and let public and private educators make the decisions. But if any politician is about to vote on significant education-related policies, laws, etc. — I would like to suggest that society require them to either:

  • teach a K12-based class for at least one month
    or
  • be in the classroom for the entire day to observe — and do this for at least one month 

Perhaps we would have far less standardized testing. Perhaps we would have far more joy and wonder — for the teachers as well as for the students. Perhaps lifelong learning — and the love of learning — would get the wind in its sails that it so desperately needs.
.


From DSC:
Along these lines of enjoyment in everyday things, could this type of thing happen more within education?

 

Some Day In Higher Education: Predictions And Possibilities For A Jolly Academic New Year — from forbes.com by Ann Kirschner

Excerpt:

  • Partnering with the private sector. Some university will have a clear strategy and adequate staff to develop strategic partnerships with key regional economic players. These would include internship/apprenticeship student opportunities and curricular initiatives including part-time teaching roles for professors of practice in rapidly changing technologies.
  • Looking for presidential talent in new places. Some university will vet its new president for skills and experience as leaders of complex organizations in an era of disruption, with a Ph.D. as a optional nice-to-have. There just aren’t enough good ex-provosts and deans to go around.
  • An educated board of trustees. Some university will provide its trustees with a realistic understanding of the highly competitive and complex world of higher education today. Nostalgia for the good old days and a roomful of well-meaning financial experts can strangle innovation at a time when the university should be the leader in solving the world’s challenges, starting with the exploding need for advanced, scalable, affordable education.

Redefining the professoriate. Some university will reject the institutional shame of relying on overworked and underpaid adjunct faculty and on graduate students who are headed for those same dead-end adjunct positions. Some university will evolve the tenure process into one that celebrates and supports faculty as innovative teachers and rewards their critical role in student career development and service to the university.

 

From DSC:
Our son recently took a 3-day intensive course on the Business of Acting. It was offered by the folks at “My College Audition” — and importantly, the course was not offered by the university where he is currently working on a BFA in Acting. By the way, aspiring performing arts students may find this site very beneficial/helpful as well. (Example blog posting here.)

mycollegeaudition.com/

The course was actually three hours of learning on a Sunday night, a Monday night, and a Tuesday night from 6-9pm.

The business of acting -- a 3-day virtual intensive course from mycollegeaudition.com

He learned things that he mentioned have not been taught in his undergrad program (at least not so far). When I asked him what he liked most about the course, he said:

  • These people are out there doing this (DSC insert: To me, this sounds like the use of adjunct faculty in higher ed)
  • There were 9 speakers in the 9 hours of classtime
  • They relayed plenty of resources that were very helpful and practical. He’s looking forward to pursuing these leads further.

He didn’t like that there were no discussion avenues/forums available. And as a paying parent, I didn’t like that we had to pay for yet another course and content that he wasn’t getting at his university. It may be that the university that he’s studying at will offer such a course later in the curriculum. But after two years of college experience, he hasn’t come across anything this practical and he is eagerly seeking out this type of practical/future-focused information. In fact, it’s critical to him staying with acting…or not. He needs this information sooner in his program.

It made me reflect on the place of adjunct faculty within higher education — folks who are out there “doing” what they are teaching about. They tend to be more up-to-date in their real-world knowledge. Sabbaticals are helpful in this regard for full-time faculty, but they don’t come around nearly enough to keep one’s practical, career-oriented knowledgebase up-to-date.

Again, this dilemma is to be expected, given our current higher education learning ecosystem. Faculties’ plates are full. They don’t have time to pursue this kind of endeavor in addition to their daily responsibilities. Staff aren’t able to be out there “doing” these things either.

This brings me back to design thinking. We’ve got to come up with better ways of offering student-centered education, programming, and content/resources.

My son walked away shaking his head a bit regarding his current university. At a time when students and families are questioning the return on their investments in traditional institutions of higher education, this issue needs to be taken very seriously. 


Also potentially relevant for some of the performing arts students out there:


 

Local private colleges slash tuition prices as enrollment declines — from news.yahoo.com by Jason Law

Excerpts:

“By reducing the published price, we certainly would hope that more people would apply,” Alexander said. “If they see a sticker price of $60,000 or more, there’s research out there that says 60% of them don’t take the next step to apply or figure out if they can afford it.”

One of the most frustrating aspects for consumers, the Hechinger Report found, is the difference between a school’s sticker price—its published tuition cost–and the actual price a student will pay after scholarships and institutional aid are subtracted.

“Many families are not aware that some students do not pay the full sticker price for college. Only 18% of college-bound families agree that the amount families actually pay is lower than the price advertised by the school,” a 2022 Sallie Mae College Confidence report found.

Student Loan Debt: 2022 Statistics and Outlook — from investopedia.com by Daniel Kurt, Thomas Brock, and Amanda Jackson; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for posting this on LinkedIn
The numbers are staggering—and still on the rise

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The total amount of outstanding student loan debt in the United States is $1.77 trillion.
  • Soaring college costs and pressure to compete in the job marketplace are big factors for student loan debt.
  • Student loans are the most common form of educational debt, followed by credit cards and other types of credit.
  • Delinquency statistics may be understated because of the relief provided to student loan borrowers by the White House.
  • Borrowers who don’t complete their degrees are more likely to default.

Congress to Boost Pell Grant by $500 — from insidehighered.com by Katherine Knott
While the draft spending plan for fiscal year 2023 provides more funding for several programs, higher education groups and advocates had hoped for higher increases.

 
 

Skills, Skills, Skills Now is the time. — from by Katelyn Donnelly and Eric Scott Lavin
Skills matter more than ever.

Excerpt:

For years, the importance of building demonstrable skills has been growing. The research is clear: skills acquired through work experience increase lifetime earnings. Yet, a massive shift in how learners, educators, and employers think about skills is just beginning.

Three subtrends set the stage for a massive inflection point in how we think about skills…

Learning will be the only constant throughout a career.  Success in the modern workforce is learning experiences to build skills, and the best way to build skills is to do real-world projects.

Below is a sampling of organizations and companies pushing the boundaries. Some of these are established players with mature businesses and tested business models.

Also relevant/see:

The Job Skills of 2023 — from Coursera

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

Excerpt from the Executive Summary Section

  1. The fastest-growing skills are digital skills
    The top ten overall fastest-growing skills are digital skills. The ongoing evolution of technology means employers are regularly seeking new digital competencies from potential hires while also reskilling existing workers.
  2. The fastest-growing digital skills are changing more significantly than the fastest-growing human skills
    The top ten digital skills vary significantly from last year—only two have carried over year-on-year: data visualization and user experience. The human skills in demand remain steadier, suggesting an evergreen demand for skills like change management and communication.

The job skills of 2023 -- from Coursera

 
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