Adapting Education to Demands for an Evolving Workforce

Education for Modern Jobs

Long gone are the days when University education was glorified and rare. The traditional way of viewing education for the baby boomer generation does not apply anymore. It maybe applies for specific careers, but no career path in the technical and industrial world works the same anymore. Even for the Arts world, some impact has still been felt by the education sector in relevance to shifting technologies. Here is an explanation for the paradigm shift.


University education is very expensive. A majority of On-site university students have to take student loans to cover their tuition and accommodation fees. The debts average around $35,000. These kinds of debts put the students in hardships later in life. It is much cheaper to go through educational course online. Preferring online education isn't so bad considering that such degrees are currently gaining the recognition they deserve in the industrial world of employment.

The major reason for the storm brewing in the nature of modern education however is the speed at which technology is evolving. Though universities were previously viewed to have the best training facilities and programs, their constitution does not allow them to evolve as first.

Numerous technical fields advance rapidly and demand that students and trainees keep up. However, universities are seldom flexible and end up giving training that is obsolete or irrelevant and out-dated to their technical students. In an effort to secure suitably skilled labor that is up-to-date with the evolving technologies, employers have come up with a new strategy. Students are put through very short educational programmes to acquire the basics of a trade in technical schools. Technical schools are preferred for this strategy as they are very flexible and accommodate the demands of employers so long as the employer's employ their students. Once through with the short programmes, students are employed and proceed with training while on the job. Training is continuous throughout the entirety of the job as long as technologies affecting their job continue to change. This way, the services of the employee will never become out-dated, and employers retain productive employees.

The contrary happens to university students on four-year programmes. Already when on their second year, their technical school counterparts start earning as they continue to pile debts. By the fourth year of graduation, their counterparts will have moved ranks up their employment. No graduates get such high ranks at initial employment. They thus become their juniors with lower wages. Worse still, they have big student debts to settle. Worse of all, they are never, unlike the special programme students, guaranteed of employment since their training is viewed as theoretical, out-of-date and inexperienced.

Many technical schools have contractual associations with big-time employers. They often have mutually beneficial relationships. The symbiotic benefits of the relationship furthermore stretch to students who enroll in such technical schools. This explains why many students prefer technical education to university education. The employers specify to the schools the skill sets they require of their employees. When the curriculum is developed and efficiently covered, they absorb the graduates into their payroll. Corporations like Cisco, IBM and Huawei are good examples of such employers. They majorly partner with IT schools and employ their graduates. A school from Sydney supplies Huawei with a specialized workforce of over 170,000 personnel. The schools unsuccessfully strive to make sure that such students are still suitable for other IT jobs their graduates don't really mind.

Before students of the IT decide on the educational path they take, they have to consider numerous things. The really intelligent ones aware of the career paths they would like to take:

1. Prefer education that will give them high quality and up-to-date skills that make them more efficient than their competitors

2. Prefer training that makes the most economic sense for them both in the short-run and in the long-run

3. Train themselves to acquire certain skills that put them at an edge over their peers and even superiors. They use the internet to source for knowledge more than they use libraries

4. Yearn to get hands-on experience and will get it even if it means they have to work for free. They often choose employers that they target to work for and make sure to put impressive shows. They often get employed despite their academic qualifications

5. More often than not get employed as they brand themselves as specialized labor to specific employers. They do not boast of academic qualifications but their ability to deliver on specific projects.

More Stories By Anne Lee

Anne Lee is a freelance technology journalist, a wife and a mother of two.

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