Skills Gap, Online Learning, Higher Education, Common Core, Millennials

This month I passed another milestone with this blog: a two-year anniversary. So I wanted to canvas some of the key concepts I covered this year (posts after June 2013).

First, I wrote a few blogs related to advancing the Skills-Based Approach methodology. The book was released in August and here is a blog post about the release: New Book: A Skills-Based Approach to Developing a Career

Second, there has been a whirlwind of press coverage about addressing ‘a skills gap’ in K-12 and higher education. Employers claim college graduates do not have the technical skills for jobs they are looking to fill. In response, the administration is pushing to increase STEM (“science, technology, engineering, and math”) bound students in K-12.

STEM Funnel
STEM Funnel

Third, online learning is growing rapidly for a few reasons. It is an effective tool for personalized learning and mastery, provides feedback loops to teachers and educators, and is a cost-effective way to reach the masses (demonstrate by the success of MOOCs). According to Clayton Christensen in Disrupting Class, by 2019 50% of all K-12 courses will be online.

Feedback Loops
Feedback Loops

Fourth,in a few blogs, I discuss the issues related to the escalating costs of higher education. There is going to be reform in the upcoming years to control rising student debt. It has a ‘snowball effect’ on young households’ investments, less can afford to buy houses and cars. Students are going to have alternative choices to a traditional college education, such as technical internships and online learning solutions. To control cost inflation, colleges will blend online and traditional learning channels.

Squeeze on Higher Education
Squeeze on Higher Education

Fifth, I advocate the whole concept of Common Core in K-12 along with the 45 states that have already adopted it; I dedicate a few blogs discussing the advantages of Common Core. I think is a powerful way to get teachers, administrator, politicians, and third-party organizations (such as online learning platform and game designers) in synch with a set of transparent learning expectations by subject and grade. The standards are posted on a publically accessible website for all interested parties to view. Currently, some parents and teachers are complaining about students underperforming; two states have recently dropped the standards. I think we have to be patient with the testing, and embrace all the benefits of Common Core – far beyond test results.

Common Core
Common Core

Sixth, millennials are the buzz. This upcoming generation is comprised of ‘digital natives’ and represent a large segment of the workforce (36 percent).  There is going to be a ‘tug of war’ with Millennials and Baby Boomers for influence in years to come (something Paul Taylor talks about in The Next America).

Millenials
Millenials

Seventh, I spend a couple of blogs talking about leadership. In this Information Age, there are going to be smaller, nimbler companies. More professionals will be required to take on leadership roles. There is also going to be an emphasis on building the team.

Finally, I have been working on an online personal branding concept, something I feel is a logical extension from the Skills-Based Approach methodology I shared last year. It is also closely intertwined with a personal website – a centerpiece of an online personal brand. To learn more about personal branding, buy the book Online Personal Brand: Skill Set, Aura, and Identity.

 

 

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