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It is True, in many cases, that we have a better educated workforce

than we have ever had before. Unfortunately due to student loans,

most of those highly educated grads are struggling under heavy loads

of debt that they will have a tough time paying back on minimum

wage jobs.

Many jobs have gone they way of the dodo bird due to new

technology and it looks like that trend is going to continue.

Technology is currently changing every 18 months or so. The hard

part for students is going to be making good decisions on what to

study that will have a bright and long lasting future. Math and Science

and Engineering majors will have a better time acquiring and keeping

a job in their chosen field. A liberal arts degree or an MBA is less

likely to allow you to get and keep a job in your field. MBA's, even

though it is a needed field, is so saturated, that if your a new grad,

your competing with thousands of others who have also gone through

that over utilized program. You would be better off getting a degree as

an electrician in a tech school than to waste your time, effort and

money on an MBA right now.

Our high schools and colleges need to do a better job of steering kids

towards degrees, in both the college and tech school routes, that will

actually equate to an actual future job. It isn't going to do you much

good to become a VCR repairman when that technology is pretty

much dead, even though it was a relatively new technology when I

was coming out of high school back in the 1980's.

One of my (now deceased) uncles used to repair TV sets that had the

old vacuum tubes in them. Today there is no need to know how to do

that with the advent of LCD, Plasma, and 3D technology TV's on the

market. It is a good thing that he is long since passed and isn't looking

for a job with his extremely outdated skill set. This is the other danger

students need to be aware of. New technology keeps coming at a

faster and faster pace. Just in my lifetime alone we have gone from

record players and 8 track players to cassette tapes, to CD's and to

MP3 players, (along with music videos on Beta, VHS, DVD'S AND

BLUE RAY DISCS ALSO ADDED INTO THE MIX) and that is just

in the music industry.

Being flexible in your career choice is also a necessity due to new

technologies. This means going back to school frequently to update

your skills and learn new skills.

Unfortunately, until we fix our higher

education system so that higher learning is free or near free like it was

in CA in the 1960's and early 1970's, this will also mean people will

have to be prepared to either take on more student debt or to save up

to pay for those classes as you go.

We could as a nation choose to make higher education (including tech schools) free by eliminating much of the waste in the pentagon. Between  that and using the money already set aside for loans and grants, could make continuing education doable for everyone who has an aptitude to learn.  

I'm not advocating that everyone get a college degree, however I am advocating that everyone who wants to learn and get a degree or certificate to have the chance to do so.

As a sidebar I also think collective bargaining for better wages, benefits and retirement is a must have in many industries.  Americans have been losing ground on the wage and benefits front for far too many years now.

The only way to improve wages and work environments is through

collective bargaining and strikes. Right now, since employers are not

willing to give their employees a living wage, this is the only way to

fight for such things even though there are some flaws in collective

bargaining it is the best route to go to force employers to pay living

wages, maintain safe work environments, and to have them provide a

group insurance plan for employees regardless of who picks up the

tab (If we get universal healthcare like almost every other nation, this

wouldn't be necessary).

As a sidebar I also think collective bargaining for better wages, benefits and retirement is a must have in many industries.  Americans have been losing ground on the wage and benefits front for far too many years now.

The only way to improve wages and work environments is through

collective bargaining and strikes. Right now, since employers are not

willing to give their employees a living wage, this is the only way to

fight for such things even though there are some flaws in collective

bargaining it is the best route to go to force employers to pay living

wages, maintain safe work environments, and to have them provide a

group insurance plan for employees regardless of who picks up the

tab (If we get universal healthcare like almost every other nation, this

wouldn't be necessary).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winkk

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by prettymeadow on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:58:50 PM PST

  •  I believe we should task our state colleges and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrganicChemist, winkk

    universities to come up with a plan for how students can earn a BS/BA at half the current total cost. This would obviously require some amount of distance learning for credit. However, if our state colleges and universities are going continue to provide an affordable college education for our young men and women, there needs to be radical changes in the basic economic model for students, educators and administrators.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:13:58 PM PST

    •  Costs have to be reduced... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winkk, VClib

      and the longer I've been involved with secondary education, the more I have come to believe that we need to change the model of who gets to come to colleges/universities. The current come one/come all model for many public and some private schools is terribly wasteful because of the number of students who show up and are not prepared. I think community colleges are terribly underutilized. I'm really beginning to believe that the standard road to higher education should be at least one year at a community college to obtain remediation and get prepared for college. If you do well, your credits should be transferable. Perhaps the very top students should be able to enter a college or university directly, but most should not. Way too many waste money and valuable teaching time only to not be invited back after a semester or so or simply drop out on their own. It's just getting too expensive to have so many slots at colleges that end up being unproductive. Look at how many colleges don't even graduate 50% of their incoming freshmen or lose more than 40% the very first year. Silliness!

  •  Why do we need buildings? (0+ / 0-)

    Or campii (as el Rushbo calls them)?
    Granted, we do need human interaction, otherwise education is simply
    for education sake.  But, Jeebus... the money taxpayers fork over to maintain HS and elementary school buildings, Teachers, Janitors and - worst of all - layer upon layer upon layer of meaningless unproductive "management," Superintendents, yada yada...
    Well, something gotta give.

    My niece teaches school via her desktop.
    Uses something similar to GoToMyPc.
    No need for a janitor, "administration."
    No building / campus upkeep.
    Cheap.
    Is the education experience any better or worse than a more traditional experience?
    Kids learn any more, get better grades?
    Dunno.
    But, it seems to me the natural course of education.
    To use the Tech we got.
    Back to smaller neighborhood schools where a handful of teachers can help teachers on the other end of those PCs. Provide Day Care, even, for the tykes and toddlers.
    Reinvent the wheel for more bang for our tax dollars.
    Not rocket science.  Or shouldn't be.  Kids "get" the tech.

    •  Unfortunately most distance learning schools (0+ / 0-)

      are nothing more than for profit business entities that don't really have good outcomes for the students.  The exception is the free site KHAN ACADEMY.  

      Most students will need some  one on one help at some point  to make a concept understandable.  If you are only there to listen to a lecture and read a text book, you are missing some valuable interactions from teachers and other students.  Also not everyone is good at learning that way.  Some kids are going to need a hands on kinetic approach to be able to learn what they need to know.  

      There is more to learning than sitting in a classroom taking tests.  There is also a social factor involved that allows you to learn how to get along with other people.  If all these kids never have to interact with each other growing up, what happens when they suddenly need the interpersonal skills set they have never received when they hit the work force?  

      Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

      by prettymeadow on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:39:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  All that granted. (0+ / 0-)

        "Distance Learning" is generally a racket.
        But, I get it.  From my comment...

        " Granted, we do need human interaction, otherwise education is simply for education sake...

        Is the education experience any better or worse than a more traditional experience?
        Kids learn any more, get better grades?
        Dunno...

        Back to smaller neighborhood schools where a handful of teachers can help teachers on the other end of those PCs.
        Provide Day Care, even, for the tykes and toddlers.
        Reinvent the wheel for more bang for our tax dollars.
        Not rocket science.  Or shouldn't be.  Kids "get" the tech. "

        My major beef with our current "education system" is that it's top heavy.  All the tax dollars go to paying "Administrators," paper pushers. And buildings and janitors and... and... everything except teachers and school supplies.
        We have way too many schools for a shrinking student body.  Consolidation, Technologies... there has to be a better way than what we're doing, becuz what we're doing obviously costs too much. Too little bang for the taxpayer buck.  We don't need a frickin' multi-Million dollar HS football field at every HS.  Hell, we don't need text books, do we?  Don't we have Kindles? Computers? Multi-Media?

        It's time to design the 21st century model.  Fewer big schools, more neighborhood schoos, less admins.

  •  Wow. Great timing from Twitter... (0+ / 0-)

    " For an hour and 10 minutes Timbs, executive director of the East Syracuse-based Statewide School Finance Consortium, followed the flow of money from Albany to Syracuse over the past five years. He found it woefully lacking.

    In 2008-09, he said, Syracuse received more state operating aid that it did this year, or than it would under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014-15 budget proposal. And that's despite the fact that the district has gained enrollment through those years and that its health insurance and pension costs have skyrocketed.

    Timbs, using a PowerPoint presentation on a large screen in the renovated school's auditorium, said the state's reductions have devastated the district, which has had to cut nearly 1,000 positions over the past six years.

    He put up a slide of a headline he created reading: "Forecast: Loss of 1,000 Jobs On the Line; Means Minimum $25,000,000 Hit to Local Economy."

    "If this had been a factory in Syracuse, everybody would be falling over their feet to stop this headline from coming true," he said. "And this is exactly what's happening. You're about to lose your thousandth job."

    He urged those present -- among them district Superintendent Sharon Contreras and a number of school board, Common Council and County Legislature members and representatives from state legislators' offices -- to demand more.

    "The kids who live and go to school in Syracuse are just as important as anyone else's kids," he said. "The problem is, of course, that I'm not sure that other people think that's true. And I think that's got to change."

    Link: The Sad State of Education

  •  Public schools have never been very (0+ / 0-)

    efficient at providing job training, for the simple reason that it's hard to forecast what specific skills will be in demand tomorrow. This is why we have a glut of underemployed or unemployed computer programmers. By the time they're ready to enter the work force their training has been rendered obsolete.

    Businesses used to be counted on to provide job training for their employees. But they're now too cheap to commit to that, so they've been trying to pass the buck to the schools.

    •  And blame the lack of a (0+ / 0-)

      "qualified work force" on "Education" so they can import cheaper labor from India.
      Third graders are smart.  Hell, they're doing Algebra in 5th grade.  What happens between elementary school and 12th grade that many graduating HS seniors aren't ready for college or the work force?  Girlfriends?  "Pop Culture?"  It seems somewhere between 5th grade and 12th school becomes more a place to hangout for six hours than a place of learning.
      I know by 7th grade I was done with school.  Had zero desire for home-
      work or "learning," just "get. me. out. of. here." was what I thought about for six hours.  I suspect that still holds true for many kids.

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