Why inexperienced workers can’t get entry-level jobs — from bbc.com by Kate Morgan; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpt:

As anyone who’s graduated from university or applied for their first job in recent years can attest to, something new – and alarming – has happened to entry-level jobs: they’ve disappeared.

A recent analysis of close to 4 million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35% of postings for “entry-level” positions asked for years of prior relevant work experience. That requirement was even more common in certain industries. More than 60% of listings for entry-level software and IT Services jobs, for instance, required three or more years of experience. In short, it seems entry-level jobs aren’t for people just entering the workforce at all.

“Internships are now the entry level,” he says. “Most of the students in college are doing or trying to do internships, and now it’s increasingly common to do more than one.”

From DSC:
I love the idea of internships. (In my days in college, internships were reserved mainly for engineers; few of us had them back then.)

But with an eye on the cost of obtaining a degree, internships should be PAID internships. That is, interns should receive decent/proper compensation. I’m concerned that businesses will take advantage of free labor here (though that’s less likely given the tight labor market I suppose). But businesses have taken advantage of free labor in the past. “It takes a village…”

Also see:

 

Can colleges compete with companies like Coursera? — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
Arthur Levine discusses how trends like personalized education are unfolding, what’s driving them, and what can go right or wrong for colleges.

Excerpt:

They say colleges will see their control over the market slip while consumers increase their power. New content producers like companies and museums are entering the postsecondary market. Students will often prioritize personalized education and low prices. Measuring learning by time in seats will transition to outcome-based education. Degrees won’t necessarily be the dominant form of credential anymore as students turn to “just-in-time education” that quickly teaches them the skills for microcredentials they need for the labor market.

For higher education to be successful, you have to have its feet in two worlds. One world is the library, and that’s human heritage. And the other is the street. That’s the real world, what’s happening now. It’s jobs, it’s the workplace.

What happens when we change quickly is we continue as institutions to keep our hold on the library, but we lose traction in the street.

Institutions have to reestablish their traction. They have to prepare students for careers. They have to prepare students for the world…

From DSC:
I also like the part where is says, “So you’ve got to ask yourself, what are they offering that would draw people there? One thing they are offering is 24/7. Another thing that they’re offering is unbundled. Another thing they’re offering is low cost, and that’s very appealing.”

 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

From DSC:
My answer to the question “Is Accreditation a Barrier to Innovation?” would be “Yes, it is.” But admittedly, maybe that’s because I work for a law school these days…and in the legal education realm (as controlled by the American Bar Association), there is YET to be a fully 100% online-based Juris Doctor (JD) degree that I’m aware of. There are some schools that have applied for “variances,” but we’re talking 20+ years after institutions of higher education introduced online-based learning! Those programs who have applied for variances are under an incredible amount of scrutiny by the American Bar Association, that’s for sure. So the legal realm is NOT doing well with innovation.

But in regards to other areas of higher ed and its accrediting bodies…I’m sorry, but you can’t tell me that the run-up in the price of higher education over the last several decades had nothing to do with HE’s accrediting bodies and either their support of — or their lack of support of — those organizations who were trying to introduce something new.

But along these lines, I’d like to hear from folks like:

  • Burck Smith from Straighterline on his perspectives and his company’s experiences with the various accrediting bodies that Straighterline has had to deal with. His insights here would carry a significant impact/weight for me.
  • Or perhaps someone like James DeVaney from University of Michingan’s Center for Academic Innovation or Joshua Kim who writes about higher education and edtech/online learning
  • Or folks like Mary Grush or Rhea Kelly at CampusTechnology.com
  • Surveying organizations who could speak for a massive group of students/learners/employees
  • …and/or other folks who are either trying to innovate within the existing systems, have heard from both sides of the table here, and/or have tried and failed to innovate within the existing structures

We’ll see if institutions of traditional higher education can reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant and survive (especially colleges and universities…not so much the community colleges). The accreditation bodies will have a large part in whether this happens…or not.

Along these lines…let’s see what happens to the growth of alternatives to those types of institutions as well.

 

Defining the skills citizens will need in the future world of work — from McKinsey & Company; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource

Excerpts:

Our findings help define the particular skills citizens are likely to require in the future world of work and suggest how proficiency in them can influence work-related outcomes, namely employment, income, and job satisfaction. This, in turn, suggests three actions governments may wish to take.

  1. Reform education systems
  2. Reform adult-training systems
  3. Ensure affordability of lifelong education

Establish an AI aggregator of training programs to attract adult learners and encourage lifelong learning. AI algorithms could guide users on whether they need to upskill or reskill for a new profession and shortlist relevant training programs. 

Foundational skills that will help citizens thrive in the future of work


From DSC:
No one will have all 56 skills that McKinsey recommends here. So (HR) managers, please don’t load up your job postings with every single skill listed here. The search for purple unicorns can get tiring, old, and discouraging for those who are looking for work.

That said, much of what McKinsey’s research/data shows — and what their recommendations are — resonates with me. And that’s why I keep adding to the developments out at:

Learning from the living class room

A powerful, global, next-generation learning platform — meant to help people reinvent themselves quickly, safely, cost-effectively, conveniently, & consistently!!!

 

OPINION: Meet certificates and “microcredentials” — they could be the future of higher education — from hechingerreport.org by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
In years to come, they will become prevalent — and possibly preferred — to college degrees

Excerpt:

What is new is that we are calling them badges and microcredentials and using them primarily to certify specific skills, such as cross-cultural competency, welding and conversational Spanish.

So what are they? Microcredentials are certifications of mastery; badges verify the attainment of specific competencies.

No matter what we are calling them, they may be here to stay.

We now live in a time that is more open to rethinking college and university credentials. We are witnessing experimentation with competency-based education, through which students earn credits by demonstrating skills instead of spending time in courses. We are also seeing discussion of free or reduced tuition, along with subscription pricing that lets students take as many courses as they like for one low cost.

Also see:

Can an AI tutor teach your child to read? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Some AI reading programs are boosting early literacy skills

Excerpt:

Artificial intelligence has been used for years in education to monitor teaching quality, teach classes, grade assignments and tailor instruction to student ability levels. Now, a small but growing number of programs are attempting to use AI to target reading achievement in the early years — a longstanding struggle for America’s schools.

 

Amazon offers to pay college tuition for most US workers — from cnn.com by Nathaniel Meyersohn

Excerpt:

New York (CNN Business)Amazon is offering to cover four-year college tuition for most of its approximately 750,000 hourly workers in the United States, the latest major employer to offer the perk to attract and retain hourly employees in a tight job market.

Starting in January, Amazon for the first time will pay for tuition, fees and books for warehouse, transportation and other hourly employees who want to pursue bachelor’s degrees. It will also begin covering high school diploma programs, GED’s and English as a Second Language (ESL) certifications for employees.

Amazon (AMZN) has not finalized a list of colleges workers will be eligible to attend using the benefit.

 

5 Ways Higher Ed Will Be Upended — from chronicle.com by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt
Colleges will lose power, prices will go down, and credentials will multiply — among other jarring shifts.

Excerpt:

The dominance of degrees and “just in case” education will diminish; nondegree certifications and “just in time” education will increase in status and value.

In contrast, “just in time” education teaches students the skills and knowledge they need right now. They may need to learn a foreign language for an coming trip or business deal. They may need to learn an emerging technology. “Just in time” education comes in all shapes and sizes, but diverges from traditional academic time standards, uniform course lengths, and common credit measures. Only a small portion of such programs award degrees; most grant certificates, microcredentials, or badges.

From DSC:
Long-time readers of this blog and my old blog at Calvin (then College) will see no surprises here:

I published the idea of 50% off and more back in 2008

I discussed The Walmart of Education with Mary Grush back in 2013

Learning from the living class room

 

Earning a Living and College Credit at the Same Time — from insidehighered.com by Susan H. Greenberg
IBM software engineering apprentices can now translate their training into three semesters of college credit at participating institutions.

Excerpt:

IBM is the latest company to win recognition from the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service as part of its recently launched Apprenticeship Pathways project, which allows apprentices at selected companies to earn digital credentials that they can apply to six participating institutions:

  • Bismark State College
  • Excelsior College
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Rowan University
  • Tidewater Community College
  • California State University, San Bernardino
 

 

From Skill to Instinct: How Higher Education can Bridge the Gap Between Classroom and Career — from edtechreview.in by Stephen Soulunii

Excerpts:

Higher education has conventionally focused on providing quality education for its students. However, modern students are increasingly attending higher education, not for scholarly pursuits, but to increase their value in an intensely competitive job market.

From DSC:
Funny how that happens when the price of getting a degree has skyrocketed through the years — and then one sees one’s family members struggling with getting out from crushing loads of debt (a process that often can take decades to do).

There is a lot that could be said here, but looking at this article makes me see how misaligned things are these days. The learning objectives that would be put forth from the corporate world don’t match up with the learning objectives as put forth by professors.

No wonder there’s a major disconnect. 

One last quote drives the point home — which swims against the current that many faculty members swim in:

65% of HR professionals believe teamwork and collaboration are the most foundational people skills – and 40% believe these skills are the most lacking in new hires.

 


Also relevant here, this is an excerpt of a piece sent to me by Christina Ioannou:

Skills Union offers accredited cohort-based, active learning courses in partnership with leading universities and employers. Their career-focused content ranges from software engineering and UX/UI design to growth marketing and digital entrepreneurship.

The company announced a US$1.5 million seed investment round, supporting its mission to bridge the global tech skills gap, through university accredited courses that meet the needs of the rapidly growing tech sector. The investment round was led by Online Education Services (OES), part of the Seek group of companies, with notable investors including KDV, Hustle Fund, Koh Boon Hwee, Siu Rui Quek, Ishreth Hassen, Sumardy Ma, Simin Zhou and Anvesh Ramineni.

Skills Union dot com

 

How Morehouse School of Medicine is growing the biotech worker pipeline — from highereddive.com by Chandra Thomas Whitfield
The historically Black institution created summer bridge programs to attract students to a sector in which diversity has long lagged.

College students and recent graduates considering a future in the biotechnology sector have a new way to try it out, thanks to a tuition-free summer program at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

 

Coursera: The ‘Amazon’ Of Online Education May Grow By Magnitudes — from seekingalpha.com

Summary

  • Increasing student dissatisfaction and declining enrollment suggest that many people are rethinking traditional methods of higher education.
  • The historical value of universities is becoming defunct as the internet allows a more efficient, less expensive, and more accessible vector of transmitting knowledge.
  • Innovative platforms like Coursera offer students a huge “marketplace” of high-quality courses far less expensive than those in traditional universities.
  • Given Coursera’s minimal barriers to growth and its massive total addressable market, I would not be surprised to see its annual revenue rise by 10X or more within years.
  • COUR may be one of the few recent IPOs which is actually trading below its fundamental fair value – subject to the assumption that online education will eventually supersede traditional models.
 

Black College Grads Borrow 35% More for a Public Education but Earn 22% Less Than Their Peers — from Kamaron McNair with thanks to Frankie Rendón for this resource

KEY FINDINGS
  • Census data shows that Black millennials with a Bachelor’s earn 22% less ($44,498 versus $56,731) on average than other degree-holding millennials.

  • Black millennials outpaced their peers in just three states — Oregon, Maine and Alaska. But only by an average of 2% — or roughly $1,200.

  • The earnings gap for recent graduates widened in more than half of U.S. states. From 2014 to 2019, the earnings gap for graduates widened in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The gap widened by more than 29 percentage points in Vermont, the most of any state.

  • The worst wage gap for Black millennials was in Montana, where Black bachelor’s degree graduates working full time earn 50.3% less on average than non-Black workers.

  • North Dakota recorded the smallest earnings gap at 2.7%. Here, Black millennial bachelor’s degree-holders earn just $1,400 less on average than non-Black earners.

  • Black students borrowed more in student loans than their fellow students. At four-year public schools, Black students and their families borrowed 35% more. Non-Black families contributed an average of $14,434 to their student’s education, more than double the $5,545 Black families contributed.

Also see:

 

Addendum on 6/23/21:

 

For College Finances, There’s No ‘Return to Normal’ — from chronicle.com by Mark S. LeClair
The critical problems facing higher education won’t end with the pandemic.

Excerpt:

Higher ed is in trouble. It faces a demographic crunch in 2026, when smaller high-school graduating classes will mean greater competition for students. That will lead to tuition discounting and underenrolled classes for many colleges. And yet that demographic crisis is only one of many significant challenges the sector faces. As noted by Forbes in its annual review of college and university financials, approximately 20 percent of all institutions now warrant a “D” ranking (its lowest). Many are under serious financial strain and may not survive.

The Forbes financial analyses have been warning of a worsening situation for years. The added stresses from the Covid-19 pandemic will further aggravate the untenable circumstances facing hundreds of institutions. There is now a very short window within which we must carry out significant reforms.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian