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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/20/2016 9:05:00 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Skills
DHagar,

The bigges problem, IMO, is that schools have gone so far down the "the student is a customer road", which is exactly wrong. Schools in a free-market liberal democracy have several jobs to do: training consumers, training neighbors,  training workers, training citizens, and training learners (so that people don't peak in value at 18 or 22).  We do an A+ on consumers -- so much so that many students and parents can't really imagine that the school is anything other than the dispensary for whatever it pops into their silly heads to want, like Walmart but cheaper, or like the wait staff at a family dining restaurant. As for the rest, well, no, we don't really equip them with the skills, with a system of values that would value the skills, or with much of a sense of their own agency.  So it's hardly surprising that most of them just want training that consists of a map of the maze, and directions on how to read it, to get to the lever that they will then push for cheese. If it's all about a highly specified and predictable payoff, as it is with the consumer side of education, that's pretty much what you can expect.

The second biggest barrier is that the major employers have more less forgotten that a trained workforce is a public good paid for with public resources, which they get to use in the same way that ranchers get to graze cattle on government land, farmers get to draw a certain amount from rivers (and are expected to return a specified amount as well),you get to drive on public roads but you have to obey traffic rules,  etc.

So you have a model that boils down to "sell them the quick route to one lever for one kind of cheese, and businesses that need that lever pushed will hire them until they don't need it pushed anymore, then throw them away because there's plenty more where that came from."  I don't think you're going to fix that by having middle school principals and middle managers pat each other on the head and tell each other that they need to be practical, which is what most of the "partnerships" I have seen amounted to, up close.

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DHagar
DHagar
6/20/2016 3:59:06 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Skills
@JohnBarnes, yes, excellent perspective on the way we address this issue.

Having worked in aerospace, I particularly like your analogy of the moonshots rather than building the "systems".

We clearly have gaps.  I believe we need new partnerships, possibly with integration of training/education/upskilling between the education systems and industries, possibly with internships, that close this gap.

I would be interested to hear your ideas of what "system" and who can lead to address this issue - industry, colleges?  Failure to make improvements will hamper industry until we do, making us less competitive.

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JohnBarnes
JohnBarnes
6/20/2016 7:45:17 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Skills
Mike, dcawrey, DHagar,

A big part of the problem is a disconnect between what businesses need, what they act like they need, and what technically-capable people want out of a job.  Businesses actually need people who can live in a state of constant retraining and skills development -- the sort of people that DHagar is describing.  But they tend to meet the need, not by internal training and enhancement, but by hiring more new grads from outside programs in whatever is currently urgent. Prospective employees entering training want to know there's a job at the end of the expensive tunnel; current employees don't necessarily want to do the same thing for the next five years, but they do want to know they'll be getting a stable paycheck.  All that combines to have businesses constantly hiring brand-new people with narrow skill sets rather than confident meta-learners who can keep going.

Swiping from Jerry Pournelle, I call it the "moonshot approach" -- you build a few big honking rockets and go to the moon a few times, then go do something else; you don't create Saturn 5 and Apollo assembly lines and begin planning for Saturn 6 and Apollo B and how they'll connect to future programs. And moonshot approaches send businesses into dead ends and valuable employees back onto the streets, pretty much forever.

Interestingly, places like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel, of which you may have heard <g>, try to hire people with potential for decades of development, and start them in projects they can grow into.  It's an approach that every IT/data/digital department will probably have to adopt eventually.

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clrmoney
clrmoney
6/18/2016 10:34:33 AM
User Rank
Platinum
Lack of Technical Talent
They should hire more people that have the necessary skills to increase income value and for Hamstrings CIOs.

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DHagar
DHagar
6/17/2016 8:11:00 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Skills
@dcawrey, here, here!  Absolutely, we are still developing trained skill sets as opposed to design, models, knowledge of value to the business user.

I believe that there is an entire layer of opportunity just in better utilizing (ie analytics) the systems we have built.  Providing the user-defined data models and then supporting business users with "usable" information can truly transform the businesses.

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Mike Robuck
Mike Robuck
6/17/2016 4:42:29 PM
User Rank
Author
Re: Skills
That's an astute post on a Friday afternoon Daniel. 

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dcawrey
dcawrey
6/17/2016 4:33:51 PM
User Rank
Platinum
Skills
I just don't think there are enough people out there with the proper skills. Some of this has to do with the fact that technology is changing so rapidly - those with skills are experiencing erosion. 

There needs to be more focus at the educational level on foundational skills, and less on specific technologies that could fade away. 

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