By Roger Courts, Faculty Member
Last month, my colleague John Penrose, wrote a blog article about the value of an education. I want to extend that thought by sharing how a college degree provides another form of education value that I like to call “employment assurance”.
To me, employment assurance is the result of building a career skills “toolkit” that allows a worker at any level to stay employed through a period of economic downturn or instability. An excellent example might be the factory worker that avoided a layoff because he or she had fundamental computer skills that allowed an easy adaption from a factory production line shift to computer controlled robotics.
College is one of several ways to acquire the skills necessary for this “employment assurance”. Please examine the graph below.
This graph of the recent “Great Recession” illustrates how college grads had a maximum unemployment rate of less than 5%, when HS grads hit 9.7% and less than HS grads hit 15.6% unemployment.
College grads may not have been working at the level of their training, but THEY WERE WORKING!
If an electrical engineer was laid off from GE, he/she might have been able to maintain a steady income by securing consulting and contracting assignments, or taking a job maintaining small company IT systems until he/she is able to continue a more stable career path.
The second chart below illustrates employment stability. Note that the top line (No HS Diploma) is very jagged, indicating seasonal and other fluctuations (think interruptions) in employment opportunities. Note also, that the bottom line (college graduates) is comparatively smooth, with gradual declines and increases, indicating steady employment as a group.
So what does this mean? Plan a career, get a degree, get a job, and be assured that history indicates you will stay employable, despite fluctuations in the economy!
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!
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