Mastering Job References & The Decline Of College Enrollment (DF#103)
The episode discusses the economy, job references, college enrollment, alternative paths, online learning, college accessibility, the value of degrees, and alternative assessments. It explores the decline in college enrollment, the rise of apprenticeships and non-degree healthcare jobs, the accessibility of online learning, and the potential impact of three-year degrees. The episode also raises questions about the value of degrees and proposes alternative assessment models.
The decline in college enrollment may have both positive and negative implications.
While it may lead to less debt and earlier financial stability for individuals, it could also have economic and social consequences.
Tech and healthcare fields are increasingly hiring without requiring a college degree.
Companies like Aeon and IBM are already hiring QA engineers without a college degree, highlighting the importance of skills over formal education.
Apprenticeships and specific training can provide alternative paths to working in healthcare.
Many healthcare jobs, such as cardiac techs and sonographers, do not require a college degree, allowing individuals to enter the field through intensive courses and on-the-job training.
Online learning has made college more accessible, but there are concerns about its effectiveness.
While online and national colleges offer convenience and flexibility, the tangible benefits and financial outcomes may not always align with the promises made in advertising.
The introduction of three-year bachelor's degrees aims to counter declining enrollment rates.
However, completing a three-year program often takes longer than four years, raising questions about the value and feasibility of these degrees.
Alternative assessments and self-paced certifications offer potential alternatives to traditional degrees.
By testing knowledge at different phases and allowing individuals to progress at their own pace, these models challenge the time-bound nature of degrees and the monopoly of colleges in assessment.
- The Economy and Job References
- College Enrollment and Alternative Paths
- Online Learning and College Accessibility
- The Value of Degrees and Alternative Assessments
The Economy and Job References
00:00 - 13:37
- The economy was strong when only 8% of the population had college degrees.
- Job references are controversial but still relevant in job searches.
- Having three to five references is sufficient.
- Choose people who will say positive things about you.
- Contact your references beforehand to update their contact information and let them know they may be contacted.
- Explicitly ask your references to say something nice about you and focus on relevant skills for the position you're applying for.
- When applying for a job, it's important to tell your references the position you're applying for so they can focus on selling your relevant skills.
- Avoid putting references available upon request on your resume as it is redundant and takes up space.
- Instead, have a separate sheet with your references that you can upload when asked.
- Make sure your references are prepared to say something positive about you.
College Enrollment and Alternative Paths
13:07 - 26:01
- College enrollment in the US has been declining since 2018 and is now at its lowest rate in decades.
- This decline may have economic and social implications, but it could also lead to less debt and earlier financial stability for individuals.
- The idea that education equals college is flawed; people can be educated without going through traditional college programs.
- Down credentialing is happening in technical and healthcare fields where there is a greater need for skilled workers.
- Companies like Aeon and IBM are already hiring QA engineers without requiring a college degree.
- Many tech and healthcare jobs do not require a college degree, yet they play crucial roles in our society.
- Tech companies are only requiring a college degree for 25 to 30% of their QA engineer roles.
- Many healthcare jobs, such as cardiac techs and sonographers, do not require college degrees.
- Apprenticeships are becoming more popular in the tech industry.
- Iowa has increased its budget for apprenticeship and on-the-job training in the healthcare industry.
- You don't need a four-year college degree to work in healthcare; specific training is sufficient.
- EMTs and paramedics can complete intensive courses and start working in healthcare without a four-year degree.
Online Learning and College Accessibility
19:20 - 32:20
- Attending college has become easier and more accessible due to online and national colleges.
- Colleges can now target potential students through advertising, particularly young women.
- The ads promote getting a master's degree from the comfort of home, but may not provide tangible benefits or help with making money.
- Increased advertising is driven by the ease of taking money from anywhere in the country.
- Previously, colleges would only advertise locally due to proximity, but now they can reach students nationwide.
- COVID-19 has accelerated online learning and remote education, which many people prefer.
- Colleges are trying to attract new customers by marketing and adjusting their product offerings.
- The introduction of three-year bachelor's degrees is an attempt to counter declining enrollment rates.
- However, it often takes longer than four years for students to complete a traditional four-year program.
- Colleges should offer courses à la carte instead of requiring unnecessary classes.
- This would make education more accessible and force colleges to reduce administrative bloat and corruption.
- Colleges have little incentive to make education more accessible as they benefit from student loan forgiveness and government funding.
The Value of Degrees and Alternative Assessments
25:45 - 34:01
- Creating a three-year bachelor degree raises questions about the validity and value of the degree.
- Increasing the supply of degrees may decrease their value.
- The time spent on campus versus the actual education received is a consideration.
- Three-year degrees often take longer than three years to complete, similar to four-year degrees.
- The change in difficulty of certifications like PMP raises questions about the value of newer certifications compared to older ones.
- Certifications aim for accuracy in assessment rather than easier or harder exams.
- The time-bound nature of degrees is driven by revenue predictability and selling more products.
- Testing people at different phases could be an alternative way to assess knowledge without time constraints.
- Colleges should not be the sole gatekeepers of exams; self-paced certifications offer another model.
- A three-year degree may water down the value of traditional four-year degrees for everyone involved.
- The value of a three-year degree may not be the same as a four-year degree.