Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, led by Director Anthony Carnevale has presented some ke findings in education, workforce and degree choice in recent years. In the June 7,2013 issue of The Chronicle for Higher Education by Beckie Supiano presents the article Majors Matter for Recent Graduates Success in Employment, Study Finds. The report; Hard Times; College Majors and Unemployment and earnings tracks the differences in unemployment and learning based upon the Bachelor’s and Graduate degrees.
Of course everyone has their own observations on a report such as this one, some of mine are:
It should come as no surprise that the employment rates vary by major; some career choices are in high demand and therefore have a higher employment rate. In essence sometimes degree opportunities can saturate a market, thereby reducing the demand for degree holders in a certain field. The results of the study that surprise me include the higher unemployment rates for architects and information systems graduates.
I have long heard about the drop in demand for bachelor’s degree level architects but I was somewhat surprised about the 12.8% unemployment rate for Information Systems graduates. Graduates from architectural programs can anticipate an unemployment rate of 14.7%. Programs which had a low unemployment rate include elementary education and physical fitness, fitness trainers, etc.
I was most surprised to see Information Systems programs on the list and wondered what the exact definition of that career field would be:
According to Wikipedia it is:
The study of complimentary network of hardware and software that people and organizations use to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data. In essence information systems are to support operations, management, and decisions making. Carnegie Mellon, which has an Information Systems program as a major for students who want to design and implement effective solutions to meet organization and management needs for information and decision support. The program provides students with:
Fundamentals of organizational theory
Teamwork and Leadership
Information system technology
O’Net describes information systems managers as those who plan, director or coordinate activities in fields such as electronic data processing, information systems, system analysis, and computer programming.
When hard times hit education does prove to be a big factor in gaining a new job the study finds that the better educated and experienced worker had an easier time of gaining employment.
This study addressed the following careers or majors:
· Agriculture and Natural Resources
· Communication and Journalism
· Health Humanities and Liberal Arts
· Industrial Arts
· Law and Public Policy
· Psychology and Social Work
· Social Science
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce has presented several other studies one of which is the report: Certificates; Gateway to Gainful Employment and College Degrees. Ten percent of all Americans hold certificates in some career related skill set that they gained, probably from attending an educational program at a community college.
Defines certificates as:
· Occupationally focused
· Rely on training in specific fields as opposed to the broader general education approach of two – four year degrees
· Relatively cheap
· Can be awarded quickly
· Time to certificate can be anywhere from a few months to four years, however 54% are short term, 41 % are medium term with only 5% being at the 4 years.
· Are more flexible
· Are stepping stones to further education, one example of this is the Certified Nursing Assistant which is often the entre’ to nursing programs and other medical careers.
The report Career and Technical Education 5 Ways the Pay identifies the following:
2. Industry Based Certificates
4. Employer Based Training
5. Associate’s Degrees
What is career and technical education? The report states that “The education and training programs that prepare American for these jobs that are commonly referred to as career and technical education.” These are jobs that require education beyond high school, but less than a Bachelor’s degree and secure middle class earnings and jobs.
Career Clusters for Career and Technical Education can be found on the Career and Tech Ed website:
- Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
The production, processing, marketing, distribution, financing, and development of agricultural commodities and resources including food, fiber, wood products, natural resources, horticulture, and other plant and animal products/resources.
- Architecture & Construction
Careers in designing, planning, managing, building and maintaining the built environment.
- Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
Designing, producing, exhibiting, performing, writing, and publishing multimedia content including visual and performing arts and design, journalism, and entertainment services.
- Business Management & Administration
Careers in planning, organizing, directing and evaluating business functions essential to efficient and productive business operations.
Planning, managing and providing education and training services, and related learning support services such as administration, teaching/training, administrative support, and professional support services.
Planning and related services for financial and investment planning, banking, insurance, and business financial management.
- Government & Public Administration
Planning and executing government functions at the local, state and federal levels, including governance, national security, foreign service, planning, revenue and taxation, and regulations.
Planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.
Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as restaurant and food/beverage services, lodging, travel and tourism, recreation, amusement and attractions.
Preparing individuals for employment in career pathways that relate to families and human needs such as counseling and mental health services, family and community services, personal care, and consumer services.
Building linkages in IT occupations for entry level, technical, and professional careers related to the design, development, support and management of hardware, software, multimedia and systems integration services.
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
Planning, managing, and providing legal, public safety, protective services and homeland security, including professional and technical support services.
Planning, managing and performing the processing of materials into intermediate or final products and related professional and technical support activities such as production planning and control, maintenance and manufacturing/process engineering.
Planning, managing, and performing marketing activities to reach organizational objectives such as brand management, professional sales, merchandising, marketing communications and market research.
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services, and research and development services.
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
The planning, management, and movement of people, materials, and goods by road, pipeline, air, rail and water and related professional and technical support services such as transportation infrastructure planning and management, logistics services, mobile equipment and facility maintenance.
Career and tech ed provides career exploration for all students. Programs of study that align with post-secondary programs as well as employer based training. An alternative applied pedagogy that encourages persistence to High School graduation as well as academic development and stronger transition to post-secondary education. There are five pathways:
3. Employer based training
4. Industry based certifications
5. Associate degrees
The final report The College Advantage Weathering the Economic Storm, presents the following:
Their research found that those workers with a high school diploma or less lost their jobs disportionately in comparison to those who had a bachelor’s degree. Less educated workers lost nearly 4 out 5 jobs during the recession and that the recovery has been more positive for those workers who had a bachelor’s degree or better.
Women who held a high school diploma or less lost two million jobs during the recession while men lost 3. 6 million jobs. Women with a bachelor’s degree or better actually gained 381,000 jobs and men with a bachelor’s degree or better lost fewer than 200,000 jobs. The report also pointed out wage disparity between men and women with women earning 75% of what men earn in comparable occupations.
Unemployment rates for four year college grads never exceeded 6.3%, (however for new college graduates that number is higher).