WE CAN DO BETTER
For years parents and educators have come to me with the same concern. Their children/students are struggling to find direction after graduating from college. The kids don’t know what to do, and their parents don’t know how to help. And they’re not alone.
Consider these statistics cited in a recent Forbes article.
- A national Pew survey says 57% of prospective college students believe college is no longer worth the tuition it charges.
- Seventy-five percent of respondents believe a college degree is unaffordable.
- An Inside Higher Ed survey of chief academic officers revealed that 96% believed their universities “were doing a good job.”
- In sharp contrast a Gallup survey showed 14% of the American public, and only 11% of business leaders, strongly agreed that graduates have the necessary skills and competencies to succeed in the workplace.
Is a college degree the new high school diploma?
Here’s why your degree’s worth is stagnant. A new study of the degree premium, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, finds that its growth has flattened in recent years. While the premium grew rapidly in the 1980s — mostly because of the decline of manufacturing jobs that required just a high school diploma — its growth slowed in the 1990s.
Since 2010, however, the premium has largely remained unchanged, said the report’s author, Robert G. Valletta of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The “patterns indicate that the factors propelling earlier increases in the returns to higher education have dissipated.”
At the same time, Valletta was careful to note that his findings should not be interpreted to mean that young adults should skip college. Overall, higher education yields positive earnings for workers over their lifetime, he said, but salaries vary greatly by college and major.
Growing Gap Between What Business Needs and What Education Provides
McKinsey published a groundbreaking study of the impact of education on employment (“Education to Employment“), and it demonstrates the challenging mismatch between our educational system and the job skills employers need.
We don’t have a jobs crisis in the world, we have a skills crisis. Some clear evidence from this report.
- 45% of US employers say lack of skills is the “main reason” for entry-level vacancies
- Only 42% of worldwide employers believe new graduates are adequately prepared for work.
This data echoes the data we hear regularly from clients. Companies need to invest heavily in internal development programs to stay competitive.
At Coaching Performance Results, most of our clients are investing heavily in new corporate universities, onboarding programs, and what we call “continuous learning” programs.
The Economic Impact of Student Debt on the U.S.
The student loan debt crisis has been compared to a ticking time bomb for the U.S. economy. Since the 2007-2008 recession, student loan default rates and overall national debt has been big news.
This is bad news, both for student borrowers and for the U.S. economy in general. Because as it turns out, carrying this much student debt takes a toll on other areas such as housing, retirement, and even discretionary household spending.
The national student loan debt crisis is negatively affecting the U.S. economy. The housing market, which is rebounding since the recession, is hampered by a segment of the population that wants to purchase but is held back by student loan debt. Family economics and small business growth are also affected. If a solution isn’t decided upon, it’s possible that within the next decade the value of a college education, both individually and to the economy, could be outstripped by the cost to obtain it.
The student loan companies are the real bandits, who stripped financial independence from millions of young professionals.
The Cost of College
The average annual increase in college tuition from 1980-2014 grew by nearly 260% compared to the nearly 120% increase in all consumer items. In 1980, the average cost of tuition, room and board, and fees at a four-year post-secondary institution was $9,438, according to the Department of Education.
A rather striking poll by Pew Research has just been released that reveals that only 55 percent of Americans think that colleges and universities “have a positive effect on the way things are going” in the US. This may be a majority, but it’s a fine one. In any case, this means that almost half of Americans think universities and colleges are having a negative effect on the national state of affairs.
Either way, when centers of learning and educational ability are being shunned en masse, and when their importance is replaced by a total acceptance of the increasingly extreme views of the party platform, this is no longer politics, or reality – it’s fundamentalism.
The Workforce Is Changing
The Job Market Is Changing
Let me add context by sharing a few local statistics about the job outlook in Western NY.
Each year WNY Colleges graduate: 5000+ more education gradates, and 3000+ business management grads than there are open positions.
137,000 retirements are expected over the next 10 years.
20% of those jobs will be in advanced manufacturing which directly relate to STEM related curriculum.
This information can help students make informed college and career decisions that lead to a job in their field upon graduation.
College isn’t bad, it just needs to adapt to meet market demands
Higher education might not like how the national conversation has shifted to focus on the dollar payoff of a college degree, yet as an industry, it has long touted the economic benefits of going to college by riding the coattails of national averages on the degree premium.
The schools and universities provide course work with good intentions. But students are not privy to current information on job outlooks to help students make informed career choices. They don’t cover that on campus tours or at new student orientation.
- K-12 education is focused on test scores and retaining their funding, hence teaching to the test while adapting to the common core curriculum this was pushed on districts.
- Colleges and Universities are slow to make changes that improve student outcomes due to the bureaucratic nature of the business, and state and government funding.
- Following a series of federal sanctions, ITT Tech on Tuesday shut down its 130 campuses shows that for-profit institutions didn’t have their students best interest at heart.
The job market is changing at a much faster rate than degree programs are adapting. Innovation and technology are changing workforce demands. This contributes to the disconnect that exists today.
There are all sorts of reasons to get an education. It gives you perspective on the world, it makes you a complete person, and of course most importantly of all, it helps you build a career.
We don’t have a jobs crisis in the world, we have a skills crisis.
Students don’t perceive that traditional education methods drive job skills.
The #1 cited way (60%) students believe they learn skills is through “on the job training.” (Our reserach shows that 72% of business managers say the same thing.)
Change is happening and businesses are innovating. Technology and a changing workforce drives this change.
The rising cost of a college education has heightened the public’s awareness and sensitivity to the ROI of a college experience. Parents, students, K-12 and colleges educators and administrators all need to contribute to positive change. Our youth are counting on us!
- Students need to be proactive about their career development
- Parents need to improve the career conversation in the home. Perhaps enrolling your children in an personalized career coaching and college planning program like CollegeCPR
- Schools can implement career exploration programs
- Colleges can adapt to meet employer needs and job market demands
- Administrators can evaluate curriculum with urgency and provide forward thinking, progressive career training to faculty and staff
Everyone can chip in to provide more service learning opportunities that allow students to get hands on training and apply what they learn in real world context
Coaching Performance Results brings you CollegeCPR
If I sound brash at times, it’s because I have a passion for opportunity for youth with a desire to have a social impact on the success of my community. I’m an advocate for college education and professional development. It’s important that students make informed decisions about their career aspirations and reverse engineer the path to get there. That’s where Coaching Performance Results steps in to ask the tough questions, share job market stats and hiring trends, and guide students through a career plan that moves you from education to employee.
CollegeCPR takes a tactical and practical approach to improve career exploration and planning. Providing a focus on extra curricular activities, service learning, and skill development that prepares students for professional success.
We train administrators, faculty and staff in coaching skills to help students succeed in college, career and life. We support both K12 and Higher Education institutions in creating a culture of coaching on campus through a variety of training and certification programs
We bridge the gap in career conversation through guided activities focusing on career exploration, personal strengths, and gaining the skills and experience to successful transition from student to professional.
Soft Skill Training for Everyone
Across all industries, employers and industry leaders are identifying soft as critical skills for both employees and job hunters. Yet, these core skills are relatively absent in the traditional education model. We teach this “missing curriculum” to help people become more employable and more effective leaders and contributors.
Executives & Managers
We help meet professional development needs by training and coaching managers, or onboarding new hires. We help your leadership team and staff increase productivity, improve management, and ensure business’s success.
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