By Shayla Scallorn
Social Media Editor
Today’s society is fixed upon the idea that a university degree paves a road for students that leads directly to career success, but this is not often the reality. There is a misalignment between post secondary education and the truth about the working world, according to experts.
Dr. Kevin Fleming, author of “(Re)defining the Goal: The True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century” has received national attention for his labor market research and advocacy of technical education. His passion for the subject stems from his experience with crippling college debt and the struggle faced by many graduates to find a job in their field.
According to Fleming’s video Success in the New Economy, “The perceived earnings for having a 4-year degree has fueled a ‘college for all’ philosophy.” The average student attends a 4-year university “in pursuit of job security, social mobility, and financial prosperity.”
The statistics students are not seeing is that only about a quarter of those who attend will finish their bachelor’s degree before dropping out. For those that do, majority end up in what is known as gray collar jobs: when an individual takes a job that does not require the education they have received.” As the video states, education costs are on the rise and the job market is shrinking due to an oversaturation of some college majors.
Four year degrees however are not the only way to go, many overlook the value of technical and associate degree programs. Technical schools provide students with a hands on education and applicable skills to use in a career. Labor market research reveals that industries are in desperate demand for skilled technical workers.
Of course not everyone is cut out for this line of work, however Dr. Fleming explains that having some form of technical training even when combined with a traditional degree, can make an individual that much more employable. Fleming believes that the most important thing a prospective college student can do is analyze their talents, strengths, and interests, and remember that a higher degree does not always equate to a higher salary.
“Success in the new economy is as much about knowledge, skills, and abilities as it is to be well educated,” Fleming said. “Using your skills and perfecting them can be more valuable than getting a degree simply to get one.”
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