Learning, Innovation & Tech

Bombs & Breakthroughs


CJ Westerberg, May 7, 2010 9:15 AM


One caveat:  Dual Skill Set Required.  
 Will a degree be enough to land a job? Think again.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

"Technology, health care and education will continue to be hot job sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' outlook for job growth between 2008 and 2018. But those and other fields will yield new opportunities, and even some tried-and-true fields will bring some new jobs that will combine a variety of skill sets.

The degrees employers say they'll most look for include finance, engineering and computer science, says Andrea Koncz, employment-information manager at the National Association of Colleges and Employers. But to land the jobs that will see some of the most growth, job seekers will need to branch out and pick up secondary skills or combine hard science study with softer skills, career experts say, which many students already are doing."

With technology being at the forefront of future job growth, with over 2 million new tech-oriented jobs expected by 2018, does that Science Information degree guarantee good job prospects?  Not necessarily.   Anything that can be "automated" can be shipped overseas. 
What recruiters are looking for are dual abilities and skill sets.

Computer programmer?  If you understand marketing and incorporate that into your portfolio, all the better.

"Similarly, employment for public-relations positions should increase 24% by 2018. Job titles--like interactive creative director--will reflect the duality of the required skill sets."

"Students will have to study strategy to maximize relationships between third-party content providers and their company's Web team. Other key skills will be search-engine optimization to maximize Web traffic and marketing analytics to decipher the company's target demographic, says Donna Farrugia, executive director of Creative Group, a marketing and advertising staffing agency in Menlo Park, Calif."

The Riff:
With technology being integrated into every facet of future careers, how are our kids being educated TODAY for that reality?  Is technology an integral part of education schools?  Are administrators and teachers receiving on-going training and development to utlilize technology as a tool beyond administrative functions?  Beyond understanding Facebook, Twitter and whiteboards?

Is there a growing disconnect between students and teachers that is not being properly addressed?  Are teachers adapting at a pace that is necessary for an accelerated change and "flat world" society?  Are administrators involving communities and businesses to help schools adapt to this change?

If we are waiting for change to come from the "top down",  transformation coming from a governmental policy or initiative, then we may be in for a rude awakening.  It takes our individual and collective action at the local level that will drive sustainable change that will lead to more relevant education for our students.   Relevance translates to better jobs, citizenry and future self-fulfillment and satisfaction.  Where is the relevance?

  • vew

    Fascinating article. The requirement for outstanding teachers is very

    demanding. It points out more and more how we need to pay for that talent. I am aware that teachers do not go into that career for the money. Many of them are very motivated for the right reasons. But this country has got to recognize there talents and compensate them accordingly. As you point out, the teaching profession is going to be in greater and greater demand. Let's do all we can to encourage the growth of this profession. Thanks for a great web site.. VEW

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