My Position on Education and Job Training
Students have been placed on a single path, an assembly line that leads to a four year college. In this education factory, grades and standardized testing have undermined creativity and innovation. Students who don’t thrive in this mold and either can’t afford college or don’t want to go, are largely forgotten. And those who even make it to the end by graduating college aren’t necessarily well equipped, either for their own personal goals or for the needs of the modern economy. Generations of students have been pushed towards the same end goal without much attention given to what happens once they get out, or to those who never go to college at all.
We desperately need an updated education system, a flexible model that better supports our students, and in turn supports the needs of a highly technological, complex, and skill based economy. Businesses across the country, but perhaps most notably those in the energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and the technology startup sectors are hungry for properly trained and skilled candidates. Many of these companies don’t even need students with a four year bachelor degree, but instead desperately seek highly trained labor, skills that can be learned in half the time and for a fraction of the cost and these companies may even offer incentives to further an employee’s education or training.
If our educational system is not open to transformation and flexibility, our economic growth could suffer and “non-traditional” students will continue to be ignored while traditional students graduate college without the skills needed to enter the workforce. If we will finally dismiss the ingrained notion that the best and most respected path to success and career preparation is a traditional college, we will more completely educate America’s youth and unlock the unique potential of our national workforce.