Moving Beyond Degrees: Why competency is currency

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Simply having a college degree is not enough to find a job. This is especially true in today’s job market. Having the right competencies, not the right level of education, is the key to marketability and earnings. In other words, it’s not that you study but what you study that makes the difference. From a policy perspective, colleges are rewarded for enrollment and graduation, yet very little if any attention is paid to student placement and earnings. In this session, Michael Bettersworth makes the case why degrees increasingly matter less, that competencies are currency, and that student success is about much more than enrollment or graduation rates. It’s also about getting a job.

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  • note: The 80% figure on slide 2 has sense been redacted by the source. The class of 2012 figures show that 54% of 4-year grads from 2012 were jobless or underemployed, had 10-year low median wages, and an average student loan debt of $28,700 per student.


    Un or Underemployed, median wage, 3 of 30: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47141463/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/#.T7_GqplYtEh
    Student Loan Debt: http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/23/pf/college/debt-repayment.moneymag/
    More: http://www.epi.org/publication/bp340-labor-market-young-graduates/
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Moving Beyond Degrees: Why competency is currency

  1. 1. Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Michael Bettersworth Texas State Technical College Follow on Twitter @bettersworth michael.bettersworth@systems.tstc.edu www.forecasting.tstc.edu June 2011 BRAZOSVALLEY WORKFORCE Friday, June 17, 2011
  2. 2. Source: CollegeGrad.com. College graduates moving back home in larger number. 22 July 2009! Friday, June 17, 2011
  3. 3. U.S. Credit Card Debt $826.5 billion U.S. Student Loan Debt $829.785 billion An estimated “$300 billion in federal student loan debts have been incurred in the last four years...” 2007 Sub-Prime Mortgage Balance: $1.3 Trillion Friday, June 17, 2011
  4. 4. Four times the rate of inflation. Almost twice the rate of healthcare. Friday, June 17, 2011
  5. 5. Source: Cronin, Joseph & Horton, Howard.Will higher education be the next bubble to burst? The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 22, 2009. “There is a growing sense among the public that higher education might be overpriced and under-delivering.” Friday, June 17, 2011
  6. 6. Source: Business Roundtable, New survey reveals obstacles to training and education are threatening U.S. competitiveness and worker prosperity. October 8, 2009 And yet... “American workers’ unmet need for further education and training is exacerbating today’s unemployment problem and portending long-term trouble for workers and businesses -- even after the economy recovers.” -Business Roundtable Friday, June 17, 2011
  7. 7. The War on Work The Great Divide The Higher Ed Imbalance Engaging the Talent Pipeline Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Friday, June 17, 2011
  8. 8. “...the collective effect [...] has been this marginalization of lots and lots of jobs. And I realized [...] to me the most important thing to know and to really come face to face with is the fact that I got it wrong about a lot of things.” “We have declared War on Work” Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs Source: TED Speech, December 2008. Friday, June 17, 2011
  9. 9. Source: Kelley, P.,The dreaded “P” word: an examination of productivity in public postsecondary education, July 2009. Median earnings in Alabama employment market, and certificates/degrees weighted by value to the state and individuals: Friday, June 17, 2011
  10. 10. Median earnings in Alabama employment market, and certificates/degrees weighted by value to the state and individuals: Source: Kelley, P.,The dreaded “P” word: an examination of productivity in public postsecondary education, July 2009. Friday, June 17, 2011
  11. 11. If you earn a bachelor’s degree, you will earn $1,000,000 more over the course of your life. BUSTEDIf you earn a bachelor’s degree, you will earn BUSTEDIf you earn a bachelor’s degree, you will earn $1,000,000 more over the course of your life. BUSTED$1,000,000 more over the course of your life. Friday, June 17, 2011
  12. 12. It’s not that you study, but what you study in relation to market demand. Friday, June 17, 2011
  13. 13. There is much talk of “diversity” in education, but not much accommodation of the kind we have in mind when we speak about the quality of a man, or a woman: the diversity of disposition.! Friday, June 17, 2011
  14. 14. Source: Dreher, Rod.The soft bigotry of high expectations.The Dallas Morning News. May 29, 2009. Rod Dreher “We have come to see labor as something we do in exchange for money and not as an expression of our intrinsic nature. Many a white-collar man works hard but lives in a world of soul-killing abstraction, where what he does, what he feels and who he is have little to do with one another.” Friday, June 17, 2011
  15. 15. Source:The new competition for america’s jobs.Trends Magazine. June 2010.Source:The new competition for america’s jobs.Trends Magazine. June 2010. Yet, up to 3 million highly-skilled technical positions remain unfilled as of June 2010. This “War on Work” has led to the devaluation of certain career and educational pursuits. How did we get here? Friday, June 17, 2011
  16. 16. The War on Work The Great Divide The Higher Ed Imbalance Engaging the Talent Pipeline Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Friday, June 17, 2011
  17. 17. 80% 20% Blue Collar White Collar “Mental” “Manual” The Class of Work Friday, June 17, 2011
  18. 18. This division has been applied to American education. Friday, June 17, 2011
  19. 19. Smith-Hughes Act 1917 Education Dissected AcademicVocationalVocationalAcademicVocationalVocationalAcademicVocationalAcademicVocationalEducationVocationalVocationalEducationVocationalAcademicVocationalAcademicEducationAcademicVocationalAcademic Friday, June 17, 2011
  20. 20. 65% 20% 15% Skilled “Labor” “Professional” Unskilled “Labor” “Cubicles” “Fries with that?” “Experts” “Craftsmen” “Developers” “Skilled” “Technicians” “Engineers” “Paid” “Hired” New Model - Still Off Friday, June 17, 2011
  21. 21. Laser Optics Laser Electro Optic Devices • Continuous Wave Lasers • Pulsed lasers • Thin Films •Vacuum Technology • Geometrical and Wave Optics Friday, June 17, 2011
  22. 22. Instrumentation & Process Control Proportional, Integral and Derivative Control • Loop Tuning Control Loop Systems • Computerized Control Systems (Allen Bradley & Siemens) • Wonderware Graphics Fronts • Delta V systems • Mechatronics Friday, June 17, 2011
  23. 23. Mechanical Engineering Materials Classification • Non-Destructive Testing • Alloying • Plastics • Polymers • Composites • Advanced CNC • Tools & Fixtures • Electrical Theory • Materials Strength • Fluid Mechanics & Applications • Machine Design • • 3D Solid Modeling • CAD/CAM • Physics • Statistics • Welding Processes • GTAW • GMAW • SMAW Friday, June 17, 2011
  24. 24. Nanotechnology Nanotech Characteristics • Image characterization • Nanotech Processes • Scanning Electron Microscopy • Atomic Force Microscopy • Transmission Electron Microscopy • Class 100 Clean Room • Continuous Wave • Pulsed Laser • Geometrical Optics • Wave Optics • Semiconductor Manufacturing Friday, June 17, 2011
  25. 25. Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Engineering Research “CASPER” Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasmas Lab & Space Science Lab (SSL) are supplied with full time technical support using TSTC faculty and students with CASPER's technical support staff. National laboratory model with Baylor/TSTC. Friday, June 17, 2011
  26. 26. Source: Hacker,A & Dreifus, C.Are colleges worth the price of admission.The Chronicle of Higher Education. July 11, 2010. Higher education must serve all of these segments; however, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, ““colleges are taking on too many roles and doing none of them welldoing none of them welldoing none of them well.” Friday, June 17, 2011
  27. 27. The War on Work The Great Divide The Higher Ed Imbalance Engaging the Talent Pipeline Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Friday, June 17, 2011
  28. 28. “Over the next ten years, 26 of the top 30 fastest growing jobs will require some post- secondary education or trainingtraining...The demand for skilled workers is outpacing supply, resulting in attractive, high-paying jobs going unfilled.” Emily Stover DeRocco President,The Manufacturing Institute, National Center for the American Workforce Former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Education and Training Friday, June 17, 2011
  29. 29. The need for more skilled employees has driven a national effort to increase college attendance and completion numbers. In Texas we call this, “Closing the GapsClosing the Gaps.” What Gaps Are We Closing? Friday, June 17, 2011
  30. 30. 0 27500 55000 82500 110000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 55000 82500 Texas Public Two-Year Colleges Awards Texas Public Four-Year Universities Awards College graduation is increasing in Texas. That’s a good thing. Friday, June 17, 2011
  31. 31. Technical awards are flat/declining. Academic awards are now the most common. This is incongruent with job demand. 0 12500 25000 37500 50000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Technical awards are flat/declining. 25000 37500 Texas Technical Public TwoYear Awards Texas Academic Public Two-Year Awards Friday, June 17, 2011
  32. 32. Academic Awards Friday, June 17, 2011
  33. 33. Friday, June 17, 2011
  34. 34. Source: Carnevale,A., Smith, N, & Strohl, J. Help Wanted: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2018.A study prepared at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.Washington D.C. June 2010. 2007 2018 Associate’s degree, certificate, or some college 27% 29% Bachelor’s degree 21% 23% Graduate degree 11% 10% Level of education required by employers What Level of College is Needed? Friday, June 17, 2011
  35. 35. Source: McNichol, Oliff, and Johnson. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. States continue to feel recession’s impact. October 7, 2010 Friday, June 17, 2011
  36. 36. Source: McNichol, Oliff, and Johnson. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. States continue to feel recession’s impact. October 7, 2010 Friday, June 17, 2011
  37. 37. Source: McNichol, Oliff, and Johnson. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. States continue to feel recession’s impact. October 7, 2010 Friday, June 17, 2011
  38. 38. REALITYREALITY: State and federal budget cuts will lead to further reductions in technical training capacitytechnical training capacity... ...despite the need for employable college graduates with these technical skillstechnical skills. Friday, June 17, 2011
  39. 39. When discussing education supply and workforce demand, it is not the level of education that is most important but the alignment of competencies in response to employer demand. Simply increasing the number of college graduates will not solve our state and nation’s competency shortages. Friday, June 17, 2011
  40. 40. The War on Work The Great Divide The Higher Ed Imbalance Engaging the Talent Pipeline Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Friday, June 17, 2011
  41. 41. “…I believe that our education system should make a shift to one that is market-driven and takes into account the skills needed by employers.” Tom Pauken Commissioner Texas Workforce Commission Friday, June 17, 2011
  42. 42. The colleges that most students attend "need to streamline their programs, so they emphasize employabilityemployability.” Anthony P. Carnevale Director, Georgetown Center Georgetown University Friday, June 17, 2011
  43. 43. “If educators don't provide people with employability all the other missions, the more grand missions that are talked about at colleges and universities, they are not going to achieve those eithereither.” Anthony P. Carnevale Director, Georgetown Center Georgetown University Friday, June 17, 2011
  44. 44. “If you can't make people employable, they are not going to participate fully in the life of their times in this system.” Anthony P. Carnevale Director, Georgetown Center Georgetown University Friday, June 17, 2011
  45. 45. “At the post-secondary level, we need a concerted effort to link work and learning by providing far more opportunities for work-based learning.” William C. Symonds Director, Pathways to Prosperity Harvard Graduate School of Education Friday, June 17, 2011
  46. 46. Friday, June 17, 2011
  47. 47. We must develop talent pipelines aligned with market demand, not simply increase enrollment and completion... ..and measure performance throughout. Friday, June 17, 2011
  48. 48. What you Measure Counts. Solution #1: Metrics Friday, June 17, 2011
  49. 49. Activity Performance Enrollments Demographics Contact Hours Course Completion Graduates Numbers of Awards Award Levels National Benchmarks Placement Rate Earnings Student Satisfaction Employer Satisfaction New Companies Return on Investment Value to Taxpayer Efficiency What’s Measured What Counts Friday, June 17, 2011
  50. 50. Traditional higher education is a linear progression built on contact hours, courses, semesters, and degree plans with a primary focus on enrollment growth and, to a lesser degree, completion. We can do better. Friday, June 17, 2011
  51. 51. Modularized workforce curriculum with embedded certificates in flexible schedules aligned with employer competencies where student success is defined first as job placementplacement, not simply completing a course or earning an award. Solution #2: Packaging Friday, June 17, 2011
  52. 52. TSMC Friday, June 17, 2011
  53. 53. Friday, June 17, 2011
  54. 54. Friday, June 17, 2011
  55. 55. TSMC Friday, June 17, 2011
  56. 56. Fast-Track Model Friday, June 17, 2011
  57. 57. Value-based funding models where state appropriations are based on the economic return generated by placement rather than the amount of time in seats. Solution #3: Funding Friday, June 17, 2011
  58. 58. Friday, June 17, 2011
  59. 59. More Skilled Talent Placed in High- Demand Careers Earning Premium Wages Generates More Tax Revenue Funding output means basing state appropriations on Return on Investment. Friday, June 17, 2011
  60. 60. Friday, June 17, 2011
  61. 61. Given reductions in capacity, employers will need to engage and invest directly into talent pipelines critical to their success. Solution #4: Sourcing Friday, June 17, 2011
  62. 62. Standard Talent Pipeline College Career Quality assurance of new hire is limited. Retention can suffer if bad fit. Time to full productivity delayed. Stronger candidates have been cherry picked. Insufficient volume of candidates. - - - - - Interview Position Full Time Hire Enroll Friday, June 17, 2011
  63. 63. Improved Talent Pipeline College Career Interview Early Look Advisory Position Quality assurance of new hire is limited. Retention can suffer if bad fit. Time to full productivity delayed. Stronger candidates have been cherry picked. Insufficient volume of candidates. - - - - - Enroll Full TimeHire Friday, June 17, 2011
  64. 64. Extended Talent Pipeline College Career Intern Early Look InterviewScholar- ship Position Quality assurance of new hire is limited. Retention can suffer if bad fit. Time to full productivity delayed. Stronger candidates have been cherry picked. Insufficient volume of candidates. - - - - - Enroll Full TimeHireAdvisory Friday, June 17, 2011
  65. 65. Advanced Talent Pipeline College Career Quality assurance of new hire is limited. Retention can suffer if bad fit. Time to full productivity delayed. Stronger candidates have been cherry picked. Insufficient volume of candidates. - - - - - Enroll Intern Early Look Full Time Hire Interview Scholar- ship Position Co-OpAdvisory Friday, June 17, 2011
  66. 66. Sponsorship Elements College Career Part Time Employment Candidate Pays Tuition Employment Benefits, etc. Reimbursed Tuition Pay Remaining Tuition 2Year Contract Performance Visits Full TimeHireInterviewCo-OpAdvisory Stronger candidates have been cherry picked. Insufficient volume of candidates. - - Enroll Intern Scholar- ship Position Sponsor Friday, June 17, 2011
  67. 67. Capacity Building Talent Pipeline College Middle School High School SecondaryCollege College SecondaryCollege Career Certs Full TimeHireInterviewCo-OpSponsor Position Scholar- ship InternAdvisory CompeteCampsToursCareer Interview Dual CreditEnroll Friday, June 17, 2011
  68. 68. Aerospace Capacity Pipeline Friday, June 17, 2011
  69. 69. High School Friday, June 17, 2011
  70. 70. Military Friday, June 17, 2011
  71. 71. College Friday, June 17, 2011
  72. 72. Career Friday, June 17, 2011
  73. 73. Workforce education is not about keeping students in seats. It’s about getting people out of seats and on their feet. Competency is CurrencyCurrency. Friday, June 17, 2011
  74. 74. Employability is more important than a degree alone. Return on investment is more important than a contact hour. Placement is more important than enrollment. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Friday, June 17, 2011
  75. 75. The War on Work The Great Divide The Higher Ed Imbalance Engaging the Talent Pipeline Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Friday, June 17, 2011
  76. 76. Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961)Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961)Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961) “An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopherincompetent philosopher.” Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961) Friday, June 17, 2011
  77. 77. “The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy.” Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961) Friday, June 17, 2011
  78. 78. John W. Gardner “Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” Source: Gardner, J. "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?", p. 86 (1961) Friday, June 17, 2011
  79. 79. Moving Beyond Degrees: Why Competency is Currency Michael Bettersworth Texas State Technical College Follow on Twitter @bettersworth michael.bettersworth@systems.tstc.edu www.forecasting.tstc.edu June 2011 BRAZOSVALLEY WORKFORCE ThankYou Friday, June 17, 2011

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