Will community colleges solve education 'mix-match' with tech training?
- There is a significant imbalance between the types of jobs available in the U.S. and the number of people who have the corresponding education to apply, according to an Urban Institute report, which notes the "mix-match" is more apparent in local markets than nationally.
- Nearly two-thirds of U.S. jobs require a high school diploma or less at entry level, while 60% of the population has more than a high school diploma. Of adults ages 25 and older who have some level of college education, less than one-third have an associate degree. The remainder have a certificate or no credential.
- The report said tracking the educational progress of a community or population can help local, state and regional governments identify which industries or businesses to attract or retain. It also can help to create economic development policies that support entrepreneurship and innovation hubs.
Opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation hubs are drawing community colleges, and vice-versa. Long deemed as one of the most economical choices in higher education, community colleges are finding success when it comes to preparing workers for employment — especially as the cost of college continues to climb.
A new report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce says positions in middle-skills jobs — requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree — account for roughly one-quarter of the "good jobs" in America. A good job, according to the report, is one that pays at least $35,000 per year for those between the ages of 25 and 44 and $45,000 for workers between the ages of 45 and 64.
The mismatch between available jobs and educational attainment has companies looking to close the gap. In particular, they are partnering with community colleges to develop and execute curriculum in technology skills development to support relatively young or emerging industries.
Google is partnering with 25 community colleges to offer a certificate in IT Support via the online learning platform Coursera. Northern Virginia Community College, located in an area that has one of the largest concentrations of IT jobs in the country, has partnered with Amazon to offer students coursework in cloud computing. Amazon is also working with a group of community colleges in the Los Angeles area on a 15-credit cloud computing certification.
- Urban Institute The Education-Jobs 'Mix-Match'