There are many things wrong with our education system. Teachers unions, PC curriculum, and low test scores are just some of them. Another is the emphasis, in secondary education, on going to college over practical job skills.
How many parents have funded useless liberal arts degrees only to have their son or daughter searching for work everywhere but in their field? How many of those former gender studies or interdisciplinary diversity administration majors end up asking near the end of their workday, “Do you want fries with that?”
How many different students who took up a trade right out of high school are making a good living in just a couple of years? Lots. But the emphasis on college for all, regardless of skills and income potential, remains.
And even in a professional position, people without formal higher education but with practical job experience can bring an awful lot to the table and leave their degreed colleagues panting in the dust. But so much of the hiring focus for professional positions requires a college degree.
To combat that problem last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that mandated the federal government replace “outdated degree-based hiring with skills-based hiring.” The president, when he signed the order, said his “administration already valued merit but the federal government would no longer be narrowly focused on where an individual went to school, but rather the skills and talents they bring to the table.”
His daughter and close advisor Ivanka Trump agrees. She has started a White House initiative to foster a greater direction towards practical skills in the work place.
Ivanka Trump: “As the country’s largest employer we lead by example. We care about what you know, not where you learned it. The first step is reviewing position requirements to identify what the relevant knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities are for the job. Some of these descriptions, known as ‘occupational classifications’ haven’t been updated for more than 50 years.”
https://t.co/dRZMdZyON4 helps workers of all ages and backgrounds identify the right path for their career goals by recommending multiple edu pathways, providing aptitude testing, offering a directory of critical resources for child care, food assistance, internet access and more
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 14, 2020
The First Daughter continued: “The second step is matching these descriptions with what skills a job candidate has (or doesn’t have) when determining their likelihood of succeeding. Job candidates can demonstrate these skills through prior work experience, some other test or assessment, or their education history if it is relevant. Previously, job candidates with college degrees were presumed to be qualified regardless of their skills, and job candidates with the necessary skills were crowded out… We want to expand opportunity for the two-thirds of Americans, disproportionately lower income and minorities, without college degrees whose skills and talents were overlooked—and we want to ensure that we are hiring the most qualified people to work on behalf of the American people.”
She closed with, “The purpose is to find the most dedicated and talented Americans to work in the federal government. By modernizing the recruitment and hiring process and focusing on skills, we believe we will have a broader reach to touch more communities and provide for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Let us hope this gets somewhere. If so, the badly educated spoiled young rabble on the streets could be directed toward real jobs and people with excellent skills, regardless of college degrees, could find the job they deserve.