Tag Archives: Career

New York Federal Reserve Bank report: Many college grads underemployed

11 Aug

One Tennessee Study found that quite often kids are encouraged to choose college over vocational or trade options. The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media. http://www.tennessee.gov/education/cte_council/doc/career_college_advice.pdf The Pew Research Center has a report, Is College Worth It? http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/05/15/is-college-worth-it/ Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0202/Does-everyone-need-a-college-degree-Maybe-not-says-Harvard-study about a Harvard study.

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.
“The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Harvard has quite a bit of press about the report. Jill Anderson wrote the press release, Pathways to Prosperity Seeks to Redefine the American Education System which is at the Harvard site. The point of the report is whether there should be a variety of post-high school paths and not just the focus on a B.A. Still, there should be post-high school training which would provide additional skills. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news-impact/2010/02/pathways-to-prosperity-seeks-to-redefine-american-education-system/

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.

Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College wrote in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:
• Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors. Students demand to know how their choice of major will affect their career options. By sharing these data and student examples with the faculty and academic advisors, the career development office becomes more vital to students and to the faculty. With the endorsement and influence of the faculty, students utilize the complete range of resources offered by the career development office starting from their first year on campus.
• Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.
• Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.
• Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management. With projections that today’s graduate will have eight or more jobs in their life, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to navigate the path from college to career as well as post-graduate career changes.
• Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education. Today’s students expect immediate answers and a direct line from major to career. At Wake Forest University, history professors require their students to participate in teleconferences with alumni who applied their bachelor’s degree in history to relevant but not directly related fields, such as journalism, law and marketing. Understanding the breadth of real-world opportunities dispels the myth that all history – and other liberal arts – majors are destined to become professors.
• Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries. Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, now the most popular minor at Wake Forest, emerged from a college-business school collaboration. Alternatively, many students choose to acquire the Masters in Management degree at Wake Forest in their fifth year to develop the business knowledge and leadership skills to complement their liberal undergraduate education. These types of partnerships are essential to provide students with the skills to apply their liberal arts skills to business-world problems.
There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor.
A liberal arts education, long regarded as one of America’s unique sources of strength, remains an important vehicle for nurturing young talent who will produce the answers for our future. However, a liberal education without regard to career relevance is not enough. Liberal arts colleges must begin rethinking success by demonstrating relevance beyond the classroom. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

In the current economy more and more prospective students are wondering if college is a good investment.

Jill Barshay of The Hechinger Report reported in the article, Reflections on the Underemployment of College Graduates:

Most people — and especially parents of 20-something college graduates — know that the job market is particularly tough right now for recent college grads. But so tough that about half of them are either unemployed or underemployed?
That is what analysts for the New York Federal Reserve Bank of New York calculated, in a January, 2014, report, “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?” Defining “underemployed as working in low-paid jobs that don’t require college degrees, the analysts, Jaison R. Abel, Richard Deitz, and Yaqin Su, found that roughly 6 percent of recent college graduates, aged 22 to 27, were unemployed at the beginning of 2013 and 44 percent were underemployed. The unemployment figure has likely dropped since then, along with the overall drop in unemployment. But it’s quite possible that underemployment — the percentage of college grads who are in jobs that don’t require college degrees — hasn’t changed much.
Curiously enough, this New York Fed study was largely a rebuttal to the popular notion that the job market is much worse for college grads today. The authors looked at two decades of data and found that the combination of unemployment and underemployment is roughly the same today as it was for college graduates in the early 1990s who also had to seek jobs during a recession. By age 30, the majority of the 1990s cohort eventually found better work, and the same could happen for the current crop of college graduates.
But the authors also pointed to some ominous signs. They drilled down into the data of the underemployed and noted that it’s more likely for recent graduates to be in a low-wage or a part-time job than in the past. In other words, there’s a smaller share of college graduates in well-paying non-college jobs, such as electrician, dental hygienist or mechanic. And there’s a rising share of college graduates in the lowest paid of the non-college jobs, such as bartender, food server and cashier. That could make it harder for these young adults to transition to higher skilled jobs in the next few years. Time will tell.
Harvard professor Richard B. Freeman, one of the leading U.S. labor economists, wrote that he believes things are also worse now for American college graduates because of international competition. “The college graduate situation has a global dimension — 6 million bachelor’s graduates in China that affect the U.S. market as well — which is very different than in the past,” he wrote.
It’s worth pausing a moment to understand how economists think about underemployment, an admittedly fuzzy term. The New York Federal Reserve used the Department of Labor’s O*Net surveys. If at least 50 percent of the respondents working in a particular occupation say it requires a college degree, then the New York Fed labeled the occupation a college job. And it called a college graduate “underemployed” if he or she worked in a job for which less than half the respondents said a bachelor’s degree was necessary. Under this definition, every college-educated real estate broker, registered nurse and Shakespearean actor is classified as underemployed.
Sometimes fields change and become more sophisticated. Twenty years ago, some jobs didn’t require college degrees that now do. Journalism is one where many people didn’t have a college degree a couple generations ago. Now, even O*Net says reporters need a college degree. One question interesting labor economists is whether the employers hiring young adults can be more selective than the job itself warrants, and can demand college degrees simply because they have an excess of college graduates to choose from. Many elementary schools in the New York City area, for example, have the luxury of being able to demand that any teacher’s aide have a B.A. But O*Net says that the degree isn’t necessary for that job. Over time, that could change, if enough teacher’s aides respond that a college degree is necessary to be a teacher’s aide, even though you could perform the job superbly without one….
Reflections on the Underemployment of College Graduates – Higher Education http://diverseeducation.com/article/66209/

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano reported in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/education/edlife/edl-24masters-t.html?emc=eta1&_r=0 Whether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Resources:

A publication by the government Why Attend College? Is a good overview http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/Prepare/pt1.html

Article in USA Today about gap year http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-06-18-gap-year_N.htm

Advantages of Going to a Vocational School http://www.gocollege.com/options/vocational-trade-schools/

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology http://www.accsc.org/Resources/Links.aspx

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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New social studies framewok

17 Sep

Moi wrote in Cultural literacy: Is there necessary core knowledge to be academically successful? Back in the day there was this book entitled “Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.” It was published in 1988 and was written by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Moi liked the concept, some others, not so much. “Cultural Literacy” is defined by Education. Com:

Having sufficient common knowledge, i.e., educational background, experiences, basic skills, and training, to function competently in a given society (the greater the level of comprehension of the given society’s habits, attitudes, history, etc., the higher the level of cultural literacy).http://www.education.com/definition/cultural-literacy/

Marci Kanstroom wrote E.D. Hirsch, Cultural Literacy and American Democracywhich was published in Education Next liked the concept. http://educationnext.org/e-d-hirsch-cultural-literacy-and-american-democracy/ Others, like Patrick Scott criticized the concept in articles like Scott’s A Few Words More about E. D. Hirsch and Cultural Literacy. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/378146?uid=3739960&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=55881093943 Scott takes issue with Hirsch’s criticism of education icons Dewey and the NEA.

Bernard Schweitzer wrote an interesting 2009 piece for the NEA,Cultural Literacy: Is It Time to Revisit the Debate?

Some will say, “What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures, most of them dead White males? Our students are equipped with vibrant local cultural knowledges of their own.” Others will caution me not to expect too much from freshmen, saying that it is my job to ensure that they leave the academy armed with a degree of common knowledge that they may not have when entering it. Yet others may be more concerned, agreeing that while a basic fund of knowledge should be expected of freshmen, my students are perhaps performing so poorly on general knowledge issues because most of them come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds (e.g., poor inner-city high schools) and diverse ethnic backgrounds (e.g., immigrants). But here’s the rub. If undergraduate students have never heard of Gandhi, Orwell, or Thoreau (or have no reason to remember them), they obviously have such a huge gap in general knowledge that four years of college education are not likely to make up for what has been missing since middle school. Although I may strive diligently to fill those gaps, I realize that we no longer live in a culture that encourages and reinforces a shared knowledge basis with regard to history, geography, literature, and the sciences. But that does not mean that this kind of cultural literacy has ceased to be relevant. Indeed, I believe it is still alive and well, but that it is now cultivated only in a narrow circle of the privileged classes. The reason I don’t see much evidence of this shared knowledge in my own classroom is that I do not, as a rule, encounter the products of the country’s elite preparatory school systems. What I’m saying, then, is that the issue of cultural literacy is socio-economically coded.
Some will say, ‘What’s so wrong with being unable to pick up references to a few historical figures,most of them dead White males?’
The problem with the argument that cultural literacy is irrelevant is that it does actually matter to some. It matters to the upper-middle and upper classes, who hold the reins of wealth and power. Those families who can afford to send their children to top schools can be sure that their offspring are inculcated with precisely the kind of cultural fluency that some are trying to persuade us holds no importance in today’s diversified world. The more we argue the unimportance of cultural literacy among the general populace, the more we relegate the possession of this knowledge to the province of a socio-economic elite, thereby contributing to a hardening of social stratification and a lessening of social mobility. In the upper echelons of society, cultural literacy indicates belonging, and it signals the circulation of knowledge within tightly knit coteries.http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/TA09CulturalLiteracy.pdf

Whether one wants to argue that certain cultures are not included or do not have a prominent enough place in the definition of cultural literacy, the real question is what is the baseline knowledge necessary to be upwardly mobile? https://drwilda.com/2012/03/12/cultural-literacy-is-there-necessary-core-knowledge-to-be-academically-successful/

Catherine Gewertz reported in the Education Week article, New Social Studies Framework Aims to Guide Standards:

A coalition of states and professional organizations today released a new social studies framework that is designed to offer states guidance when they revise their own academic standards.
The College, Career, and Civic Life Framework, dubbed “C3,” marks a major effort to represent the priorities of four of the social studies disciplines: geography, civics, economics, and history. The three-year project brought classroom teachers and subject-matter specialists from 22 states together with college faculty members and representatives of 15 professional organizations in the social studies to craft an overarching set of guidelines that states can use as they write more detailed sets of expectations for students.
Mindful of the political delicacy of specifying social studies content, the framework’s authors steer clear of subject-matter content, instead laying out an “inquiry arc” with four “dimensions” that span the disciplines: developing questions and planning inquiries; applying disciplinary concepts and tools; evaluating sources and using evidence; and communicating conclusions and taking informed action.
“The C3 framework focuses on inquiry skills and key concepts, and guides¬—not prescribes—the choice of curricular content necessary for a rigorous social studies program,” the document says. “Content is critically important to the disciplines within social studies and individual state leadership will be required to select appropriate and relevant content.”
The Silver Spring, Md.-based National Council for the Social Studies, which led the effort along with University of Kentucky associate professor Kathy Swan, published the 129-page document on its website today.
Leaders of the initiative emphasized that the framework is not a set of standards or a curriculum. Those are better left to states and districts, which vary in what content they want to emphasize in the classroom, they said. Montana, for instance, requires instruction about the culture and history of Native Americans, while North Carolina teachers might spend more time discussing the Civil War, since key events unfolded there, said Susan Griffin, the executive director of the NCSS…..
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/09/17/05socialstudies.h33.html?tkn=XRZFYBcduXD%2F1h5e%2BAw0XANzYTwlUAHTCFBK&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is a synopsis of the framework:

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
Submitted by TimDaly on Wed, 09/11/2013 – 11:26am
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards: State Guidance for Enhancing the Rigor of K-12 Civics, Economics, Geography, and History

The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences: for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners — local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers — to strengthen their social studies programs. Its objectives are to: a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines; b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens; and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.
What are the guiding principles?
The C3 is driven by the following shared principles about high quality social studies education:
Social studies prepares the nation’s young people for college, careers, and civic life.
Inquiry is at the heart of social studies.
Social studies involves interdisciplinary applications and welcomes integration of the arts and humanities.
Social studies is composed of deep and enduring understandings, concepts, and skills from the disciplines. Social studies emphasizes skills and practices as preparation for democratic decision-making.
Social studies education should have direct and explicit connections to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.
What are the instructional shifts for social studies?
The C3 Framework, like the Common Core State Standards, emphasizes the acquisition and application of knowledge to prepare students for college, career, and civic life. It intentionally envisions social studies instruction as an inquiry arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners. The Four Dimensions highlighted below center on the use of questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction, deepen investigations, acquire rigorous content, and apply knowledge and ideas in real world settings to become active and engaged citizens in the 21st century.
C3 Framework Organization
Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries Dimension 2: Applying Disciplinary Tools and Concepts Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence Dimension 4: Communicating Conclusions and Taking Informed Action
Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries Civics Gathering and Evaluating Sources Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions
Economics
Geography Developing Claims and Using Evidence Taking Informed Action
History
Connections to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies
The C3 Framework changes the conversation about literacy instruction in social studies by creating a context that is meaningful and purposeful. Reading, writing, speaking and listening and language skills are critically important for building disciplinary literacy and the skills needed for college, career, and civic life. Each of the Four Dimensions are strategically aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies.
Why do we need the C3 Framework?
There are a number of motivating factors that inspired this work:
Marginalization of the Social Studies – The loss of instructional time at the elementary level and the narrowing of instruction in response to multiple-choice, high-stakes testing has significantly impacted time, resources, and support for the social studies. The introduction of the Common Core provided an opportunity for social studies educators to re-frame instruction to promote disciplinary literacy in social studies in such a way as to allow social studies to regain a more balanced and elevated role in the K-12 curriculum.
Motivation of Students – Children and adolescents are naturally curious about the complex and multifaceted world they inhabit. But they quickly become disengaged when instruction is limited to reading textbooks to answer end-of-chapter questions and taking multiple-choice tests that may measure content knowledge but do little to measure how knowledge is meaningful and applicable in the real world. The C3 Framework addresses this issue in fundamental ways.
The Future of Our Democracy – Abundant research bears out the sad reality that fewer and fewer young people, particularly students of color and students in poverty, are receiving a high quality social studies educator, despite the central role of social studies in preparing students for the responsibilities of citizenship. Active and responsible citizens are able to identify and analyze public problems, deliberate with other people about how to define and address issues, take constructive action together, reflect on their actions, create and sustain groups, and influence institutions both large and small. They vote, serve on juries when called, follow the news and current events, and participate in voluntary groups and efforts. Implementing the C3 Framework to teach students to be able to act in these ways—as citizens—significantly enhances preparation for college and career.
Collaboration is Key
For these reasons and many more, thousands of social studies experts, curriculum specialists, teachers and scholars from across the nation, and the following organizations have been involved in the development of the C3 Framework.
http://www.socialstudies.org/C3

The National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS) makes the case for social studies standards.

In National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: Introduction, the NCSS states:

What Is Social Studies and Why Is It Important?
National Council for the Social Studies, the largest professional association for social studies educators in the world, defines social studies as:
…the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world.1
The aim of social studies is the promotion of civic competence—the knowledge, intellectual processes, and democratic dispositions required of students to be active and engaged participants in public life. Although civic competence is not the only responsibility of social studies nor is it exclusive to the field, it is more central to social studies than to any other subject area in schools. By making civic competence a central aim, NCSS has long recognized the importance of educating students who are committed to the ideas and values of democracy. Civic competence rests on this commitment to democratic values, and requires the abilities to use knowledge about one’s community, nation, and world; apply inquiry processes; and employ skills of data collection and analysis, collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving. Young people who are knowledgeable, skillful, and committed to democracy are necessary to sustaining and improving our democratic way of life, and participating as members of a global community.

The civic mission of social studies demands the inclusion of all students—addressing cultural, linguistic, and learning diversity that includes similarities and differences based on race, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, exceptional learning needs, and other educationally and personally significant characteristics of learners. Diversity among learners embodies the democratic goal of embracing pluralism to make social studies classrooms laboratories of democracy.

In democratic classrooms and nations, deep understanding of civic issues—such as immigration, economic problems, and foreign policy—involves several disciplines. Social studies marshals the disciplines to this civic task in various forms. These important issues can be taught in one class, often designated “social studies,” that integrates two or more disciplines. On the other hand, issues can also be taught in separate discipline-based classes (e.g., history or geography). These standards are intended to be useful regardless of organizational or instructional approach (for example, a problem-solving approach, an approach centered on controversial issues, a discipline-based approach, or some combination of approaches). Specific decisions about curriculum organization are best made at the local level. To this end, the standards provide a framework for effective social studies within various curricular perspectives. http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/introduction

Resource:

C3 Framework – College, Career, and Civic Life

We desperately need an informed citizenry in this country.

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Startup America: Urging recent grads to become entrepreneurs

16 Apr

In times of entrenched long-term unemployment, job creation becomes crucial. Bonnie Kavoussi reports in the Huffington Post article, Unemployed College Graduates As Vulnerable As High School Dropouts To Long-Term Unemployment: Report:

College graduates and advanced degree holders, once they are unemployed, are as vulnerable as high school dropouts to long-term joblessness, a new study has found.

Thirty five percent of unemployed college graduates and those with advanced degrees have been without a job for more than a year, the same rate as unemployed high school dropouts, according to a Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative study published Wednesday. In fact, the long-term unemployment rate, for those 25 and older without a job, is nearly the same across all levels of educational attainment, the report says.

“A slowly rising number of job vacancies…hurts people regardless of their educational attainment,” said Gary Burtless, labor economist at the liberal think tank Brookings Institution. Nonetheless, he added: “Relatively speaking, there’s still a payoff to going to college. The college degree still has some vaccination effects against becoming a long-term unemployed person.”

Indeed, getting a college degree is a good bet for avoiding unemployment in the first place. The unemployment rate of college graduates who are at least 25 years old is just 4.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, 13.8 percent of high school dropouts, 8.7 percent of high school graduates, and 7.7 percent of college dropouts are unemployed.

The percentage of the labor force that faces long-term unemployment is at a record high of 2.8 percent, according to the Pew report. Thirteen million Americans are unemployed, 4 million (or 31 percent) of whom have been unemployed for more than a year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/long-term-unemployment-college-graduates_n_1250418.html

As more and more college grads find themselves unemployed, they are looking for ways to earn a living.

Mary Beth Marklein has written the USA Today article, Programs encourage new grads to try entrepreneurship:

About 45 newly minted college graduates begin training in June to work for two years with small start-ups in struggling communities through a just-launched non-profit called Venture for America. Companies in Colorado and Massachusetts are offering paid summer internships to college students and new graduates through Startup America, a national initiative. A competition at Harvard, which opened an innovation lab in November, is providing funds and workspace to teams of students who have proposed ideas such as a car-sharing business in India and a restaurant offering interactive menus.

The flurry of opportunities reflects the mixed job picture for young adults. Corporations plan to hire 10% more new graduates this year compared with 2011, says a survey last month by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks job hiring trends for recent graduates.

Even so, employers scaled back on hiring in March, according to the latest Labor Department data, and younger workers were hardest hit. By the end of 2011, just 54% of 18- to-24-year-olds were employed, the lowest rate since the Labor Department began collecting the data in 1948, says a Pew Research Center report released in February.

“The majority of students are … taking what they can get,” says Clint Borchard, 30, a junior at the University of Nevada-Reno, who, with classmates, plans to launch a company this summer that manufactures affordable homes powered mostly by renewable energy. The business plan, which anticipates creating 40 jobs within five years, is a finalist in an inaugural campus competition aimed at spurring regional growth. The winning team will get $50,000.

On average, entrepreneurs are about 43 when they launch their companies, says the Kauffman Foundation, a research group that studies entrepreneurship. It says lack of access to capital and concerns about paying off student loans are among barriers for younger entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial survey

A November 2011 survey of 500 entrepreneurs ages 21-24 found:

• 30% started a business in college. Up from 19% in 2010.

• 29% are self-employed. Up from 20% in 2010.

• 72% said they do not feel they have enough support from banks. Up from 65% in 2010.

• 92% said they felt entrepreneurship education was vital given the realities of the new economy and job market. Up from 90% in 2010.
Source: Young Entrepreneur Council and Buzz Marketing Group

http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/story/2012-04-16/new-graduates-young-entrepreneurs/54325822/1

Startup America is helping some of these young entrepreneurs get started.

Here is information about Startup America from the FAQ section of their site:

Q: What is the Startup America Partnership?

A. The Startup America Partnership is a private organization working to help young companies succeed in order to accelerate job growth in America. We’re bringing the private sector together to maximize the success of America’s entrepreneurs, and augment America’s competitiveness in an increasingly global world. We are an independent nonprofit entity (NGO) that was launched at the White House in early 2011.

Q: How are you helping startups?

A: We’re bringing together some of the country’s most successful organizations to provide valuable resources to young companies with high growth potential. We are focused on providing resources in five key areas: Talent, Services, Expertise, Customers and Capital. We are also working on a regional basis to identify and help accelerate entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country. 

Which startups are you helping?

A: We’ve classified the startup ecosystem into the following groups:

– Idea: Someone has an idea for a business but has not yet established it.

– Startup: At least two people have created a business entity with the ambition to build a scalable company.

– Rampup: A team of five or more people that has secured at least two customers and has a clear focus on customer growth.

– Speedup: A company that employs at least 25 people and has established a revenue run-rate of $10MM or more.

While we celebrate and have resources for those in the idea phase, we are focused on helping young companies that are currently startups, rampups or speedups.

Q: Why just “young companies”?

A: Companies less than five years old account for all of the net job growth in our country between 1980 and 2005. These firms have the potential to one day employ hundreds, if not thousands of workers. Of course, we love entrepreneurs of all stripes, but in order to drive significant job creation over the next 3 years, we are focused on existing startups that have the potential for high growth. These high-growth firms can be in any industry (tech, education, finance, etc.) and from any region of the country.

Q: How is the Startup America Partnership funded?

A: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation provided the initial funding for the Startup America Partnership. American Express OPEN, Dell Inc., Intuit Inc., and Microsoft are corporate sponsors. We have not received a dollar from any government organization.

Q: What is your relationship with the White House Administration?

A: We were launched at the White House in January 2011, and the Administration is a very important partner of ours with whom we work closely. However, we are not overseen or funded by the federal government. The Administration has its own Startup America initiative.

Q: Do you provide any capital or grants?

A: We are not a grant-making entity. We are partnering with a number of organizations who do invest in startups, in order to help get those funders in front of the young companies who may need their services.

Q: Who is leading the Startup America Partnership?

A: Our CEO is Scott Case, a proven entrepreneur who was the founding CTO of Priceline.com. Our Chairman is Steve Case, AOL co-founder and current CEO and chairman of Revolution, LLC, and the chairman of the Case Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation also provides leadership to the Partnership.Our all-entrepreneur board can be seen here.

Q: How can potential partners get involved?

A: If you have products or services that benefit young companies, fill out our partner form and we’ll be in touch.

Q: How can startups get involved?

A: If you’re an entrepreneur running a young company, register here to access to our partner resources. 

The Startup America home can be accessed here

Serious Entrepreneur posts at their site, The Pros And Cons Of Entrepreneurship:

Some of the pros serious entrepreneurs enjoy include:

  • Independence – to be your own boss and make your own business decisions is a big plus of entrepreneurship.
  • Excitement – if you enjoy taking risks and adventure there’s a lot to be said for setting up your own business.
  • Rules – if you are someone who is constantly kicking against the rules of a regular organization then you should head out on your own.
  • Flexibility – there’s a great amount of flexibility in working for your self. You set your own timings and you get to balance your personal and professional life quite well this way – provided you don’t turn into a workaholic!

Some of the cons include:

  • Salary – you will not have the benefit or security of a steady income to provide the financial backing you are used to.
  • Risk – there is a huge element of risk, which if not managed properly can be a disadvantage.
  • Benefits – initially there will be few, if any benefits, when you are getting started.

http://www.upcomingentrepreneurs.com/entrepreneur/entrepreneurs-pros-cons-entrepreneurship/

Starting a new business is tough work with an element of risk. But, the next Google may be out there in the head and effort of some new grad.

Related:

Pros and Cons of New Grads Starting a Business http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/220673

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Is a business major in college the right move?

5 Apr

Periodically some group or another comes out with a list of the top colleges and ranks them according to their methodology. One of the newest lists is from What Will They Learn. They use the following criteria:

What Will They Learn?SM rates each college on whether the institution (or, in many cases, the Arts & Sciences or Liberal Arts divisions) requires seven core subjects: Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government or History, Economics, Mathematics, or Natural or Physical Science. The grade is based on a detailed review of the latest publicly-available online course catalogs. The fact that a college has requirements called Literature or Mathematics does not necessarily mean that students will actually study those subjects. “Distribution requirements” on most campuses permit students to pick from a wide range of courses that often are narrow or even outside the stated field altogether. To determine whether institutions have a solid core curriculum, we defined success in each of the seven subject areas outlined as follows: Composition. A college writing class focusing on grammar, style, clarity, and argument. These courses should be taught by instructors trained to evaluate and teach writing. “Across-the-curriculum” and “writing intensive” courses taught in disciplines other than English do not count if they constitute the only component of the writing requirement. Credit is not given for remedial classes, or if students may test out of the requirement via SAT or ACT scores or departmental tests. Literature. A literature survey course. Narrow, single-author, or esoteric courses do not count for this requirement, but introductions to broad subfields (such as British or Latin American literature) do. Foreign Language. Competency at the intermediate level, defined as at least three semesters of college-level study in any foreign language, three years of high school work or an appropriate examination score. U.S. Government or History. A course in either U.S. history or government with enough breadth to give a broad sweep of American history and institutions. Narrow, niche courses do not count for the requirement, nor do courses that only focus on a particular state or region. Economics. A course covering basic economic principles, preferably an introductory micro- or macroeconomics course taught by faculty from the economics or business departments. Mathematics. A college-level course in mathematics. Specific topics may vary, but must involve study beyond the level of intermediate algebra. Logic classes may count if they are focused on abstract logic. Computer science courses count if they involve programming or advanced study. Credit is not give n for remedial classes, or if students may test out of the requirement via SAT or ACT scores.Natural or Physical Science. A course in biology, geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, or environmental science, preferably with a laboratory component. Overly narrow courses and courses with weak scientific content are not counted.

The question of what colleges are teaching is more relevant as both students and this society seek to compete in a global economy.

Daniel de Vise in the Washington Post article, College Ratings Ignites Debate Over Core Requirements reports:

Today, only a handful of national universities require students to survey the span of human knowledge. Two schools, Columbia University and the University of Chicago, are known for century-old core programs that have managed to survive. They cover enough subjects to earn each institution a B from the advocates of general education. “If you tried to start a core curriculum today, the battles you’d fight would have to be enormous,” said John Boyer, dean of the college at Chicago. “Once you have it, you don’t want to lose it, because it’s very hard to get it back again….” The schools awarded “A” grades by the raters are an unusual bunch: highly structured military academies, a few public universities with unusually deep general-education lists (the University of Texas at Austin), tradition-minded Christian institutions (Baylor University) and the “great books” schools. All require at least six of the seven “essential” subjects. Harvard, meanwhile, got a D. Only a few of the nation’s top national universities and liberal arts schools fared better. Not by coincidence, the group released its ratings – expanding on a smaller effort a year earlier – to coincide with the popular college rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Georgetown University received a D for requiring just two of the seven prescribed subjects, composition and foreign language. The College of William and Mary, which requires foreign language, math and science, drew a C….

Because of competition in the job market, many students are pursuing a business degree. The question is whether that is the right move?

Melissa Korn has a provocative Wall Street Journal article, Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major:

Undergraduate business majors are a dime a dozen on many college campuses. But according to some, they may be worth even less.

More than 20% of U.S. undergraduates are business majors, nearly double the next most common major, social sciences and history.

The proportion has held relatively steady for the past 30 years, but now faculty members, school administrators and corporate recruiters are questioning the value of a business degree at the undergraduate level.

The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don’t develop enough critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays, in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.

Companies say they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines. And while most recruiters don’t outright avoid business majors, companies in consulting, technology and even finance say they’re looking for candidates with a broader academic background.

William Sullivan, co-author of “Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession,” says the divide between business and liberal-arts offerings, however unintentional, has hurt students, who see their business instruction as “isolated” from other disciplines….

Top College Degrees Bachelor’s awarded by field for the 2008-09 academic year

• Business: 347,985, or 21.7%

• Social sciences and history: 168,500, or 10.5%

• Health professions and related clinical sciences: 120,488, or 7.5%

• Education: 101,708, or 6.4% • Psychology: 94,271, or 5.9%

• Visual and performing arts: 89,140, or 5.6%

Source: National Center for Education Studies

Along with more than 20 other U.S. and European business schools, those institutions met last month at George Washington for a conference to discuss ways to better integrate a liberal-arts education into the business curriculum. It was organized by the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit group with an arm that studies management education and society. Other participants included Franklin & Marshall College, Babson College and Esade, a business and law school at Barcelona’s Ramon Llull University….

Such changes should appease recruiters, who have been seeking well-rounded candidates from other disciplines, such as English, economics and engineering. Even financial companies say those students often have sharp critical-thinking skills and problem-solving techniques that business majors sometimes lack.

Business degrees have been offered since at least the 1800s, but they were often considered vocational programs. Some experts argue that the programs belong at trade schools and that students should use their undergraduate years to learn something about the world before heading to business school for an M.B.A. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304072004577323754019227394.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_editorsPicks_2

As the environment becomes more unstable and uncertain, those graduating in a time of flux need to be adaptable.

Career Management quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics at their site:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is frequently asked for data on how many jobs the average person holds in a lifetime. To determine the number of jobs in a lifetime, one would need data from a “longitudinal” survey that tracks the same respondents over their entire working lives, and so far, no longitudinal survey has ever tracked respondents for that long. However, a survey begun in 1979 has tracked younger baby boomers over a considerable segment of their lives.

A BLS news release published in June 2008 examined the number of jobs that people born in the years 1957 to 1964 held from age 18 to age 42. The title of the report is “Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey.”

These younger baby boomers held an average of 10.8 jobs from ages 18 to 42. (In this report, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer.) On average, men held 10.7 jobs and women held 10.3 jobs. Both men and women held more jobs on average in their late teens and early twenties than they held in their mid thirties.

From ages 18 to 42, some of these younger baby boomers held more jobs than average and others held fewer jobs. Twenty-three percent held 15 jobs or more, while 14% held zero to four jobs.

One limitation of the NLSY79 is that it does not reflect the labor market behavior of people who are not in that particular cohort; that is, people who are older or younger than the baby boomers in the survey or who immigrated to the United States after the survey began in 1979. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Frequently Asked Questions http://www.clearmgmt.com/careers.htm

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.
H. G. Wells

Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
Marcus Aurelius

Each generation’s job is to question what parents accept on faith, to explore possibilities, and adapt the last generation’s system of values for a new age.
Frank Pittman

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Producing employable liberal arts grads

1 Apr

In Borrowing from work: Schools teach career mapping Moi said:

One of the goals of education is to give the student sufficient basic skills to be able to leave school and be able to function at a job or correctly assess their training needs. One of the criticisms of the current education system is that it does not adequately prepare children for work or for a career. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/borrowing-from-work-schools-teach-career-mapping/ A liberal arts education has been considered the gold standard. A Washington Post article has some good tips about how a liberal arts education could be made valuable in the current economic climate.

Andy Chan, vice president of the Wake Forest University Office of Personal and Career Development, and Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Reynolds Professor of Computational Biophysics and dean of Wake Forest College write in the Washington Post about producing employable liberal arts grads. In the article, Six tips for liberal arts colleges to produce employable grads, Chan and Fetrow give the following advice:

Here are a few recommendations for liberal arts colleges to more deeply realize and communicate the value of the liberal education for the world of work today:

Develop partnerships that bridge the career development office with the faculty and academic advisors. Students demand to know how their choice of major will affect their career options. By sharing these data and student examples with the faculty and academic advisors, the career development office becomes more vital to students and to the faculty. With the endorsement and influence of the faculty, students utilize the complete range of resources offered by the career development office starting from their first year on campus.

Provide opportunities for faculty to understand the needs of employers. When professors understand why employers hire certain students, they can articulate how the academic material can be applied variety of work settings and help students recognize and better market this knowledge and skills. They can also more effectively mentor students and provide career advice and connections.

Make internships and/or research projects an integral part of the student experience. Make sure the student demonstrates the drive to stick with a research problem for longer than a semester. A survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 84 percent of executives at private sector and non-profit organizations expressed a desire for students to complete a significant project before graduation to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and a passion for a particular areas, as well as their acquisition of broad analytical, problem solving and communication skills.

Offer credit-based courses in career development so that students learn the fundamentals for lifelong career management. With projections that today’s graduate will have eight or more jobs in their life, they must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to navigate the path from college to career as well as post-graduate career changes.

Bring recent alumni from a variety of careers to campus and perhaps into the classroom to share their experiences for how they utilize their liberal education. Today’s students expect immediate answers and a direct line from major to career. At Wake Forest University, history professors require their students to participate in teleconferences with alumni who applied their bachelor’s degree in history to relevant but not directly related fields, such as journalism, law and marketing. Understanding the breadth of real-world opportunities dispels the myth that all history – and other liberal arts – majors are destined to become professors.

Develop partnerships between the liberal arts college and the business school to enable faculty and students to work and learn across boundaries. Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, now the most popular minor at Wake Forest, emerged from a college-business school collaboration. Alternatively, many students choose to acquire the Masters in Management degree at Wake Forest in their fifth year to develop the business knowledge and leadership skills to complement their liberal undergraduate education. These types of partnerships are essential to provide students with the skills to apply their liberal arts skills to business-world problems.

There are many possible solutions to help students realize and articulate the relevancy of the liberal education to the world of work. The one requirement is that liberal arts colleges must make personal and career development a mission-critical part of the undergraduate experience – and they must collaborate with faculty in the endeavor.

A liberal arts education, long regarded as one of America’s unique sources of strength, remains an important vehicle for nurturing young talent who will produce the answers for our future. However, a liberal education without regard to career relevance is not enough. Liberal arts colleges must begin rethinking success by demonstrating relevance beyond the classroom.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/college-inc/post/six-tips-for-liberal-arts-colleges-to-produce-employable-grads/2012/03/31/gIQAQb6EnS_blog.html

In the current economy more and more prospective students are wondering if college is a good investment.

Moi wrote in Why Go to College?

The societal push the last few years has been to have more kids go to college. Quite often schools are ranked on the percentage of kids that go directly to college from high school. So, counselors are following cultural cues they have received from administrators, parents, and the media.

Chris Stout lists Top Five Reasons to Go to College Stout places the emphasis on the college experience and the fact that college is not just a place for possible career training. Forbes. Com published Five Reasons Not to Go to College Some people discover their passion earlier in life than others. Forbes.Com addresses its comments at those folks. The calculation is that if one already knows what they want to do, college could be an unnecessary detour. A US News and World Report article estimated the value of a college degree

Amanda Paulson of the Christian Science Monitor has a great article, Does Everyone Need A College Degree? Maybe Not Says Harvard Study about a new Harvard study.   

A new report released by Harvard Wednesday states in some of the strongest terms yet that such a “college for all” emphasis may actually harm many American students – keeping them from having a smooth transition from adolescence to adulthood and a viable career.

The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken,” concludes the report, “Pathways to Prosperity” (pdf).

Marcus Wohlsen of AP has posted the article, Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not to Go to College at Seattle PI.Com. Wohlsen reports that tech tycoon Peter Thiel has set up a scholarship which two dozen gifted young people $100,000 not to go to college but to become entrepreneurs for the next two years.

A college degree is no guarantee of either employment or continued employment. Still, because of the economic uncertainty there is an “arms race” in education. Laura Pappano is reporting in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’sWhether a person chooses to attend a four year college after high school is a very personal decision and there is no one right answer. One thing the current economic climate has taught many is there are no guarantees in life, even with a college degree. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Related:

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©