Monday, January 24, 2011

Jobs and the "Education Premium"

While I was standing in line at the grocery store this weekend, I glanced at the issue of TIME Magazine on the rack. The cover, which looked like this (LINK), was about jobs, or "Where the Jobs Are." I read the articles in line, and then I read it online when I got home.

The stories focused on where the American job crisis is relenting, and where it is not. One author started with an analysis of what's happening now, and then shifted to what he expects in the future.

How does this tie back into the purpose of this blog?

The Pacific Islander Access project is a nonprofit focused on opening doors in academia that shouldn't be (but are) closed to Pacific Islander Americans. (If this is your first time reading our blog, here's a link for more about that: LINK) The article, among other things, was about how education is becoming more and more imporant to employment.

Here's the most relevent paragraph from, which talks about the "education premium":
The education premium -- the payoff for earning a degree -- will grow larger. According to Moody's, workers with a graduate, bachelor's or associates degree or even some college experience will get an increasing share of the jobs created. In 2011 the better educated will control 60.1% of all new jobs; by 2015, the projection rises to 64.4%, and that's even after construction bounces back.

It's more evidence that America is facing a bifurcated employment future. At the top end is a highly educated, technically competent workforce attuned to the demands of the global marketplace. At the other end is a willing but underskilled group that is seeing its prospects undermined by workers in countries like China in low-end manufacturing and by a skills mismatch in emerging industries.

My point is this: having access to higher education has been seen as a gateway to getting a great job. It still can be. But increasingly, education is playing a role in whether someone has a job at all - employment or unemployment.

Here's a link to the article I quoted: LINK


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