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  • Changing job scenario and its effect on higher education
  • Posted By:
  • Jamie K
  • Posted On:
  • 22-Nov-2014
  • A question we must all ask now is what exactly do we expect of higher education now considering our changing job scenario? This is a topic that will be held as discussion on a larger scale by business, educational, labor, civic and community groups in January 2015 at the National Press Club, Washington.

    Our country today is facing a plethora of challenges especially due to factors such as aftermath of recession, globalization and technological change. All these concerns will be discussed by Cleveland State University Community Engagement Vice President Byron White, Education Deputy Undersecretary Jamie Studley, Kettering Foundation President David Mathews and Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor.

    The rationale will be discussed by the conversation design team coordinator, Augsburg College representative and National Issues Forum and I president Bill Muse. The recent recession has had a massive impact on people of America and there is stagnation of wages.

    More than anything else, work relations are not the same anymore as we can clearly see a dramatic shift. Look at any organization today and we find employers preferring temporary employees, independent contractors and freelancers over permanent employees.

    At least one third of workers in US are contingent workers and this percentage is all set to reach 40% by 2020. There is no job security for teachers in higher education who are forced to take up employment as contract instructors.

    When you look at the overall scenario, these changes are as sweeping as during the Industrial Revolution. There is a sense of hopelessness among Americans who seem lost. Workforce is undeniably fast changing and the policy discussions today focus on preparing students for this scenario.

    There is increased emphasis on student debt management, cost cutting, distance learning, STEM and other issues. Another dynamic has emerged through discussions over the last couple of years on the purpose of higher education.

    When we analyse the deeper concerns of the American citizens in relation to policy debates, we find there is a significant gap. A nationwide conversation report called Divided We Fail focused on a statement by one Kansas woman.

    She expressed her view that higher education should focus on opening the student’s mind and heart. A student opting for higher education must have access to diverse religions, lifestyles, cultures and belief systems.

    Forums such as “Shaping Our Future” where thousands of parents, students, employers and professors participate bring out many issues including what is being lost in the entire scenario apart from surfacing the ideal of opening the minds and hearts of students.

    Another senior citizen from Maryland said that in olden days, higher education was all about a wide array of ideas, courses and cultures that helped shape our leaders and thinkers. Most people say that the true meaning of education is completely lost today.

    It has lost is sanctity as people in our society are focused on completing higher education for the sole purpose of getting a job and making money. This situation has to change and American higher education has to be brought back to its original glory. 







 

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