Why Do Only a Tiny Fraction of Jobseekers Participate in Registered Apprenticeships?

“Of the 30 fastest growing occupations reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 require more than a high school diploma.1 It’s clear that in the 21st century economy, access to opportunity has become far more dependent on a person’s skills and credentials. Because of this, we have to ensure all Americans can access training opportunities that are effective and lead to good-paying careers.”

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Almost half of all Americans work in low-wage jobs

“America’s unemployment rate is at a half-century low, but it also has a job-quality problem that affects nearly half the population, with a study finding 44% of U.S. workers are employed in low-wage jobs that pay median annual wages of $18,000. Contrary to popular opinion, these workers aren’t teenagers or young adults just starting their careers, write Martha Ross and Nicole Bateman of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which conducted the analysis. ”

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How the Student Debt Complex Is Crushing the Next Generation of Americans

““Fundamentally broken.” That is how A. Wayne Johnson, the Trump administration official who resigned on October 24th, described the student debt system that he once led. Johnson also called for student loan forgiveness in a complete break from his former boss Betsey DeVos who ridiculed Democrats plans for doing just that.”

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A Certificate, Then a Degree

“There’s plenty of high-profile concern and handwringing about college debt in the United States, with some aspiring presidential candidates offering dueling proposals to cancel all $1.5 trillion in outstanding student-loan obligations. But the far bigger problem affecting college-goers in America is a completion crisis. Far too many students who attend college do not graduate. More than 40 percent of all first-time, full-time college students in the United States fail to graduate from four-year programs within six years. If they are in the top income quartile, they are more likely to graduate—the rate is 62 percent. But that still means more than one third of relatively well-off students do not graduate. And it is worse for individuals in the bottom income quartile. The graduation rate for these students is a catastrophic 13 percent.”

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IBM Looks Beyond the College Degree

“Few major companies have been as aggressive as IBM in experimenting with different ways of hiring tech workers. Citing a serious skills gap, the multinational International Business Machines Corporation is looking for different recruiting channels for its workforce of 360,000 employees. IBM’s view is that “new-collar” jobs in cybersecurity, cloud computing, and other high-demand fields don’t necessarily require a traditional college degree.”

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Forget free college. The future of the US workforce depends on a higher education worth paying for

“Discussions on the future of work tend to be aspirational — workers can live where they want, work how they want, for whom and when they want. The benefit of this new collaborative but disparate workforce for companies is that they gain the ability to scale business quickly with just the right talent, filling specific niches. It’s a win-win. Workers are happy, and companies get what they need … in theory.”

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Educational Opportunity in the Age of Disruption

“In the debut of a new blog, Peter Smith explores the Americans who have largely been left out of postsecondary education’s remarkable past, and how that can change going forward. Since the publication of my book, Free-Range Learning in the Digital Age: The Emerging Revolution in College, Career, and Education, in mid-2018, and after a year of listening, learning and reflecting, I would like to explore and look at the future of learning and work with refreshed eyes and new understandings. I am writing not as a critic but as a friend and longtime observer of higher education, learners, learning and opportunity.”

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Are Liberal Arts Colleges Doomed?

“Two days before classes started at Hampshire College in September, the school’s incoming first-year students — all 13 of them — attended a welcome reception in the campus’s new R.W. Kern Center. A motley mix of plaids, khakis and combat boots, the group lined up to shake hands with the college president and receive small bells — symbols of the large brass bell they’ll ring upon completing their “Division III,” the epic independent project required to graduate. If, that is, Hampshire survives long enough for them to graduate.”

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The End Of College Is Coming

“Every spring, millions of American high school kids are faced with this choice. It sounds like a no-brainer. And it used to be a no-brainer… because college used to cost a reasonable amount of money. As recently as 1980, you could get a four-year bachelor’s degree at a public school for less than $10,000, on average. These days it’ll cost you at least $40,000… or upward of $140,000 for a private school… or well over $250,000 for a top school. Unless a kid has rich parents or a full ride scholarship, he must borrow a ton of money to pay for the privilege of attending college.”

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The Next College (and Boot Camp) Alternative

“The list of investor-funded college “alternatives” that have crashed and burned in the last few years — or just withered on the vine — runs more than a few lines long. While some college leaders have celebrated the failures — particularly of those boot camps and other providers that openly trashed traditional institutions — others recognize the need to pay attention to a marketplace that keeps trying to find faster, cheaper pathways to jobs. The latest supernova to cross the postsecondary education and training horizon, Kenzie Academy, uses some of the “college alternative” language that tends to rub higher education partisans the wrong way.”

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