Education, Job Skills, Employment and Musical Chairs
Have you ever played musical chairs?
You make a circle or square or some other shape out of chairs and everyone starts walking around them when the music starts playing. When the music stops, everyone rushes to sit in a chair. People who can’t find a chair to sit in are out of the game. It’s all good fun…until you can’t find a chair.
Seems simple enough, right?
Well in an interesting twist, I just read a special report from the Lumina Foundation that associated the job skills, education and employment puzzle with a game of musical chairs. Well, two games to be exact. Here’s what it said:
“Occupations that require higher-level skills — healthcare, for example — are growing. Low-skill jobs aren’t exactly disappearing, but their numbers are shrinking, leaving more workers competing for them…”
Now here it comes!
“…It’s like two games of musical chairs, where chairs are taken away from one game — the one for low-skill workers — and added to the game for workers with the skills and knowledge that today’s workplace demands.”
You know, a lot of times I read these 100+ page reports and I just get lost in a sea of data, graphs and conclusions that make little sense to me. But this…this I can picture in my head. I can see it. And it makes sense:
If you want a job, you have greater odds of finding one if you have a skill set that meets the needs of today’s job market.
Let’s roll with the healthcare example.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see some of the most job growth in the healthcare sector (5.6 million jobs) through the year 2020. Obviously, they need people who can fill those positions. However, if you only have a high school diploma, you can’t expect to be hired for one of those positions, right? You need the skills that qualify you to work in the healthcare industry and in a specific field in that industry, such as a Medical or Dental Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, etc.
So how do you get those skills? Education and/or training. Earning a post-secondary diploma, degree or some type of credential from an accredited post-secondary institution can help you learn the skills and knowledge you need for today’s job market.
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