The Problem of Being “Poorly Educated”
While political candidates bemoan low minimum wages and one candidate for President states: “I love poorly educated people“; there are currently over three million jobs that are going begging in the US.
Can’t Find Qualified Workers …
The “Skills Gap” …
Easily Automated Tasks …
Traditional Middle-Class Jobs …
Older Job Seekers …
These individuals, across a wide span of educational levels, job skills, and occupations experienced tremendous economic upheaval during and since the Great Recession.
Many older workers hope that education and skills training programs will help them remain in their jobs or return to work.
However, adults with less formal education after high school or less job-relevant skills were hit especially hard. Older job seekers who have limited basic skills and literacy are likely to need further education and training in order to return to work, in part because employers are demanding more education and skills from workers than they did in the past. Employers’ demand for workers with more advanced computer and technology skills may also be a significant barrier to older job seeker.
Adults Seeking Education Must …
Adults seeking education and training must choose from thousands of degree and certificate programs offered by colleges or universities, technical or vocational schools, community organizations, or employer associations. Not surprisingly, these options vary widely in character, quality, and cost.
So what is the answer? Education across all levels of our society that matches the needs of our employers. And while there are many programs to help our older workers, serving on the Board of Advisors of one of them, Western Governors University of Washington has been an eye opener.
This fully accredited on-line university specifically designed for working adults uses a competency based educational model that allows students to not have to relearn subjects in which they can demonstrate deep competency, thus shortening their time to complete their education.
The following statistics are for the total University operating in 20 states.
- Students: 65,000
- Graduates: 50,000
- Average time to a Bachelor’s degree: 2.5 years
- Average Cost of a Bachelor’s degree: $15,000
- Average Increase in Wages following degree completion: $10,000 per year.
It is important to note that this is only one way for an employed or unemployed adult to complete an education. But it is representative of the type of program that will both address the skills gap problem, solve the growing needs of employers for educated workers and do it in an affordable way for the employee.
Why Are “We” Writing About This?
Because any successful restructuring begins and ends with the people in the organization.
From management to professionals to support staff, the quality of the people determines the success of any company and the better employee education, the greater the chance for success.
While some politicians may talk about loving poorly educated people, it would be more productive to focus on programs for education, enabling them to fully participate in our rapidly changing society.