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The State of American Jobs

Pew Research Center – Staff Writer

“Tectonic changes are reshaping U.S. workplaces as the economy moves deeper into the knowledge-focused age. These changes are affecting the very nature of jobs by rewarding social, communications and analytical skills. They are prodding many workers to think about lifetime commitments to retraining and upgrading their skills. And they may be prompting a society-wide reckoning about where those constantly evolving skills should be learned – and what the role of colleges should be. A new Pew Research Center survey, conducted in association with the Markle Foundation, finds that these new realities are not lost on the American public: The vast majority of U.S. workers say that new skills and training may hold the key to their future job success.”(more)

I made my classroom look like the real-world—and test scores soared

E-School News – Anthony Johnson

“Think about the jobs in today’s economy — the ones we’re supposed to prepare students for after graduation. Are employees evaluated using bubble-in tests to prove they know the ins and outs of their job? Do they learn and use new skills one at a time in a vacuum? The questions sound a bit silly until you realize too often that’s what students take away from their education. Why is the culture to drill facts into students’ heads just to pass a test? Just like in the real world, my students show what they can do through projects, teamwork, and research. Is it working? Well, according to state science exams, my students consistently score higher than other science classes in my district.”(more)

State’s students falling short in level of education for new jobs

The Seattle Times – Katherine Long

“Only about 31 percent of the high-school class of 2006 had earned a postsecondary credential, including a college degree, by 2013 — a significant mismatch with the types of jobs being created in Washington and the level of education needed to get them, according to a new study by the Washington Roundtable. The study reiterates what other reports have found about low levels of college attainment in this state, and underscores the degree to which Washington students will miss out on the coming wave of lucrative job openings in the next five years. According to the study, commissioned by the Roundtable, about 69 percent of high-school students from 2006 have no degree, not even a certificate from a community college or a professional license. More than 20 percent of those students are high-school dropouts. Roundtable President Steve Mullin called the results alarming. And his organization — a public-policy group of business leaders — has set a goal: By 2030, it wants to more than double the percentage of students who have a college degree or other type of credential by age 26.”(more)

STEM Education Is Vital–but Not at the Expense of the Humanities

The Scientific American – Editorial

“Promoting science and technology education to the exclusion of the humanities may seem like a good idea, but it is deeply misguided. Scientific American has always been an ardent supporter of teaching STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But studying the interaction of genes or engaging in a graduate-level project to develop software for self-driving cars should not edge out majoring in the classics or art history. The need to teach both music theory and string theory is a necessity for the U.S. economy to continue as the preeminent leader in technological innovation. The unparalleled dynamism of Silicon Valley and Hollywood requires intimate ties that unite what scientist and novelist C. P. Snow called the “two cultures” of the arts and sciences.”(more)

Language skills can seal the deal for business students

North Jersey – Antoinette Rainone

“Interested in conducting business around the world? It may seem obvious, but it’s highly beneficial to speak the language of the people you’re doing business with. “Business is conducted all over the world in real time in multiple languages,” said Dr. Maria Ann Roglieri, professor of foreign languages at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, N.Y. “People in international business need to understand the language – and culture – of their clients.” Dr. Gladys Torres-Baumgarten, associate professor in international business at Ramapo College of New Jersey concurs. “In international business, there could be a scenario where someone in an international market is faced with doing business with two potentially viable business partners, but if one of them speaks the decision-maker’s language, chances are that the foreign language speaker will be given the business.” In pragmatic terms, it cannot be assumed that clients are fluent enough in English to conduct an entire meeting in English.”(more)

White House to bolster STEM education, close skills gap

CIO – Kenneth Corbin

“On paper, the Obama administration has taken many steps toward advancing education and training in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math — a critical policy priority for many businesses that say they struggle to hire qualified workers. But White House officials are quick to acknowledge that more work needs to be done, particularly in recruiting girls and minority students into computer science and other technical fields. They are hoping that a newly launched advanced placement course will help attract more interest in computer science by integrating the field with other disciplines and emphasizing real-world applications.”(more)