Editorial

Educational future demands ‘strategic approach’

August 4, 2017
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Grand Rapids Business Journal calls attention to comments from Vertical Media Solutions founder Joel Marotti in a report about the growth of his résumé/job service. “The old résumé was task-based,” he said. “Today, we have to have a strategic approach.”

That also is an apt description of the job market and the most basic qualification for job hunters. The contemporary approach to writing résumés requires a mindset shift for many job hunters, he said. That mind shift is especially important for local, state and national politicians, who may well understand the enormity of the change currently occurring but simply pander to old-school perceptions for popularity today while selling out the economic futures of young people. Doing so risks the future of this economy. It underscores the necessity of change in educational objectives and attainment.

The Business Journal notes even incidental observations emphasize what Michigan Future Inc. President Lou Glazer noted in his blog as to a future owned by “rock climbers” not “ladder climbers.”

The Business Journal has long noted in reporting that even employers cannot describe the jobs of the future because those jobs may not now even exist. What is apparent is that an enormous number of jobs of the past have and are being eliminated with rapidity by automation — not just in manufacturing but in law, art animations and even medical physician functions.

The Frey Foundation in Grand Rapids is working with Michigan Future to help educators (and most especially politicians) better prepare students for the shift already apparent. Most notable in its extensive research is a report from Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, which reports that “of the 2.9 million net new good-paying jobs (those that pay at least $53,000 a year) added during the first five years after the end of the Great Recession, 2.8 million went to those with a bachelor’s degree; 152,000 to those with some college or associate degree and 39,000 fewer with a high school degree or less.”

Compound that with Glazer’s blog posted at grbj.com in July, citing U.S. Department of Labor statistics (not including those who are self-employed) that good-paying jobs that do not require a four-year degree are less than 3 percent of all payroll jobs in America.

The viral video “Humans Need Not Apply” catalogs the jobs that once but no longer exist, as well as those now being eliminated. It amounts to 45 percent of all jobs; unemployment during the Great Depression was a paltry 25 percent by comparison.

The situation is serious and politicians on the local, state or national level who pander to old-school perceptions are threatening the future of the economy — and most especially the future of students.

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