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Education

Time to Get Creative

April 06, 2009 1 min read

Scott McLeod of Dangerously Irrelevant is interested, like most of us, in staying informed about the economic crisis. In his latest blog post, he pours through data and provides charts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics about layoffs and growing and shrinking job markets. The information, he finds, says a lot about high schools and what they should be teaching.

Among McLeod’s findings:

-The percentage of unemployed people with “Less than a high school diploma” is more than double that of people with “Bachelor’s degree or higher.”
-Labor industries like construction and agriculture are facing the worst unemployment.
-The “creative-class” job industry is growing.

He continues:

Creative-class jobs, which now make up at least a third of the American workforce and are the only segment of the economy that is growing long-term, require different skill sets such as complex communication, critical thinking, and collaborative problem-solving. These are skills for which schools typically have not prepared most of their graduates.
… there are no absolute guarantees that your school system’s graduates won’t lose their jobs. But it’s fairly clear that the best way to immunize your graduates from the potential of job loss is to give them the skill sets that they’ll need to 1) acquire an advanced education, and 2) obtain jobs in professional sectors that are long-term growth areas for the American economy (and thus are less vulnerable to short- or long-term downturns). This raises an obvious question, of course: How’s your school system doing at this?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.

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