The America We Live In-A View from 30,000 feet by Vogus Clint

The America We Live In-A View from 30,000 feet by Vogus Clint

Author:Vogus, Clint [Vogus, Clint]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Create Space
Published: 2015-09-16T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter 7

Our Educational System

As shown in the previous chapter, the nature of work today has changed. What we do, how we do it, and the skills we need are all much different for the majority of U.S. workers than they were just a few decades ago.

This new work environment requires that our education and training institutions change to prepare students to best meet these new work needs. Institutions of higher education not only have to provide the knowledge and skills needed for today’s jobs and careers, but must also do it in a way that is cost-effective and timely.

Many of today’s jobs require more technical skills, more problem solving skills, more analysis skills, more critical thinking skills, and more written and verbal communications skills.

We will begin by looking at some of these new work requirements and current issues facing our educational systems. We can thereby determine what the focus of higher education should be to support the needs of the new work environment.

Our discussion and analysis will focus on higher education, as that is where the final phases of career and job preparation are completed. However, to be successful in higher education, students must establish a strong educational foundation which is the domain and shared responsibility of the K-12 educational system, the student, and their parents.

It is a bit late to attempt to develop basic skills in math, English, communications, and the sciences in higher education. Much of the lack of success with students in higher education can be directly attributed to a weak foundation that was not built during the elementary school years.

Focus of Higher Education

In their book, The Second Machine Age , Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee suggest that our educational system needs to change in order to support the jobs and careers of the future:

“Curriculums from grammar schools to college- should evolve to focus less on memorizing facts and more on creativity and complex communications. Vocational schools should do a better job fostering problem-solving skills and helping students work alongside robots.” (Bloomberg Business, 2015)

Of all the countries in the world, Germany has done an effective job in educating and training their workforce for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs. They have been very successful in matching the needs of the economy with the skills and interests of the student. In this way Germany has been able to continue to be a strong manufacturing economy, and advance into the knowledge economy age.

A Model for Higher Education

As explained in Chapter 6, as the world moves to the use of more sophisticated technology in more of the work that is done, both physical and mental, there will be an increasing need for more workers who understand the mechanical side of technology, such as robots, automated machine tools, and automated systems, so that they can be programed, maintained, and repaired.

In America today, this is an education and training need that is not very well satisfied by our higher educational institutions. It is this educational gap between a full college degree and technical training that needs to be filled.


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