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Friday, October 31, 2014

9 recommendations for closing higher ed's workplace skills gap

"One of the latest assaults on the ivory tower comes from the New America think tank, which recently published a report on the gap between what higher education offers to students and what they need to land jobs." reports Education Dive.

The report, Beyond the Skills Gap: Making Education Work for Students, Employers and Communities,” is by Mary Alice McCarthy, a senior analyst at New America. She lays out the problems with higher ed institutions and government policy in providing students what they’ll need to get jobs and keep jobs, and she provides some recommendations for fixing those problems.

Beyond the Skills Gap: Making Education Work for Students, Employers and Communities (PDF)

One example of the problem cited in the report: A student in Michigan looking to become a medical assistant could choose from 59 certificate programs in the state, with wide differences in time to completion, financial aid, credit hours, value toward an associate degree, wait time, and cost — $4,000 to $20,000.

Here are some of the more interesting points from the report:

To have any chance in today’s job market, you need a college degree. According to the report, people without a college degree are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a degree, and they make half as much money. In 2013, individuals who graduated from high school had an average hourly pay of $16.20 per hour, compared to $29.46 for college graduates.

Source: Education Dive