There is a very interesting report out from the Harvard Graduate School of Education relating to Vocational Education called the “Pathways to Prosperity Project” which has affirmed my personal beliefs about vocational education on many levels. Here’s some of what they had to say:
“27% of people with post-secondary licenses or certificates (credentials short of an associate’s degree) earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient.”
“Demand for middle-skilled professionals is exploding in healthcare, adding over half a million jobs during the latest recession. These are openings for registered nurses and health technologists that require an associate’s degree which are expected to grow by more than one million by 2018.”
“There will be a huge number of job openings in “blue collar” fields like construction, manufacturing and natural resources; estimated to be nearly 8 million job openings, with 2.7 million requiring a post-secondary credential.”
There were at least three great articles in the AGURBAN weekly newsletter in March on this topic and I found them all fascinating. You can check them out at www.agracel.com and then clicking on the AGURBAN Icon at the bottom.
Some of the great feedback the AGURBAN received on these articles included the following comments from readers:
“Too many young people are taking out student loans for useless degrees instead of gaining skills in high paying careers like plumbing, electrical and carpentry” Niall & Kristie Campbell – Effingham, IL
“I spoke with a head hunter/recruiter about all of the jobs that required vocational training . . . She said it was the parents in many cases who did not want their kids to go this route. Thought a college degree was better, as a well-paying vocational job would be beneath their parent’s dignity.” Dave Schilling
“The basic premise (for Pathways to Prosperity) is that we need to realize that a 4-year college degree is not the only path to success. Most jobs in the next two decades will not need a 4-year degree. Many will need post-secondary training or certifications, and nearly all will need a high school degree. But there is a huge mismatch between the skills needed for current and future jobs and the talent pool we have.” Robin Poole Scheu – Middlebury, VT
I couldn’t agree more! Why don’t we help our kids find their passion and their talents so they can channel their energies into a field where they will not only find success, but satisfaction? When will we stop making our youth feel that they are “less successful” if they do not pursue a four year “professional” degree? What can we do to help our students find their entrepreneurial spirit so they can blaze their own path into the next decades?
The world needs many skill sets, some are learned in books, some are learned by training, some are learned by mentoring, and some are learned by experience. Every job is important to the balance of our lifestyles and the world around us. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was doing what they “love” and “loving” what they do?