Sunday, May 9, 2010

Aligning jobs and education

From a letter in today's PG:

"Of all the jobs available in this region, 70 percent require only a high school diploma or on-the-job training. Of the remaining 30 percent, 15 percent of jobs require a bachelor's degree; 2 percent require a master's degree; and a mere 1.5 percent require a doctorate degree."

Read more:

The writer, from the TRWIB, concludes that we need to attract more higher level jobs to utilize Pittsburgh's educated workforce.


Questioner said...

It would be helpful to know what portion of the jobs that require only a high school education and on the job training pay a good salary.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Here is a theory: No jobs in the region for those without degrees have exceptional pay, unless the worker is working for him or herself -- or else working for family.

Many jobs in the region exist for those without degrees but with okay pay within the ranks of union workers.

Union influences are at play in some marketplaces. So, some workers get the benefits without being an 'official union worker.'

I think we need more 'how to run a business' community education in this region.

Questioner said...

Training on how to run a business and continued support would help, since so many small businesses fail within 5 years. One of the biggest problems is lack of access to capital.

In terms of jobs requiring a degree, the "build it and they will come" approach apparently hasn't worked as well as hoped so far- we have the degrees but not the jobs. So, it is only fair to tell the students being urged to get a college education that we still need to attract to this area sufficient jobs that call for a college degree. And to provide a range of options including strong career education.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The LTE says:

We must develop a strategy to draw employers to the region that will capitalize on the area's work force and offer employment opportunities aligned with the level of skill and education of job seekers. It's time we put those degrees to work.

Think again.

The 'draw employers here' part is often a jump start to 'grow governement' solutions.

I am less inclined to 'attract others here' and would rather welcome the 'do-it-ourselves' approach. We need to do it with what we have here now. Grow our own would work much better.

Furthermore, the 'attract others' is at its base a 'bribe.' It could be gov money or not. But, it is a 'trick' or a 'pass' to do more gratis for them or have them do less than they should. Forget that. I don't want to 'bribe' as a 'strategy.'

Those who would take bribes (i.e., Nordstrum and Lord & Taylor and Lazarus perhaps) are not types that we desire for long-term sustainability. Moreover, to pay Peter robs Paul -- and that strategy puts poison into the shared well of our free marketplace. None are inclined to compete with them then. Hence, fewer are interested in starting new business and risking their capital here.

In the end we might have a great workforce, big governement, another chapter of new stategy in the wings, yet few employers, few new biz owners, fewer emerging companies, fewer jobs.

Smart people, hard workers and trainable individuals (we got em) can figure out how to hatch, start, open and operate new business ventures to make value and wealth and prosperity, without bribes.

To cook, cut, fix or drill are just part of the lessons we need to teach. To vision, manage and account are others that can't be ignored any longer.