Education and Careers: The Paths We Choose

We all know that education prices are skyrocketing, and the return on investment (ROI) is not so clear. Degrees, they say, used to guarantee a job, and now jobs that used to only require a bachelor’s degree require a master’s, and so on. This means that the ROI has decreased, and that higher education is undergoing inflation. Technological changes, moreover, are eliminating midlevel service jobs.

According to a May 2011 report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 84 percent more over their lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. If workers, then, with a bachelor’s degree are now filling jobs that those with only a high school diploma used to have, then living conditions and salaries for them are poor, and salaries for those without a degree are unlivable. In this situation, it is necessary to earn a higher degree, and yet, hard if not impossible to receive a decent ROI for the time and money spent.

In comes online education. Online higher degrees are becoming more credible and more common. And as if on a linear train of thought – in comes free online education, offered from top universities around the country (MOOCs). Moreover, the career opportunities that only a degree-in-hand allow are merging with online ed options: just a few weeks ago Georgia Tech announced that it was merging with Udacity to provide a reasonably-priced computer science program. In the totally unbalanced situation of higher than reasonable brick-and-mortar degree prices versus free online education, hybrid models are emerging as one way of answering to the issue for positive ROI outcomes.

ROI: What Does It Really Mean? OR Is Money What It’s All About?

According to government projections, by 2020, only three of the thirty fields with the largest projected job openings will require a bachelor’s degree or higher to fill the position: teachers, college professors, and accountants. Most of the available positions will be midlevel jobs not easily replaced by technology such as retail sales associates, fast food workers and truck drivers.

College graduates who majored in zoology, anthropology, philosophy, art history and humanities are now among the least likely to find jobs appropriate to their education level, while nursing, teaching, accounting, and computer science graduates are the most likely. Graduates with degrees in marketing, finance, human resources, and advertising are seeing an increase in career opportunities and therefore ROI.

‘While engineering and computer science consistently rate among the top-paying college majors, students should also research employment demand and hot skillsets,’ Andrea Porter, communications director at Georgetown’s CEW, said to USNews for a piece called ‘College Majors With the Best Return on Investment.’ “Research what skills are most valuable in the labor market… and depending on those ‘hot skills’ you can also obtain a certificate that will provide you skills that will set you apart,” she added.

Katie Bardaro, a lead economist at PayScale (an online salary database), contributed to the piece by stating that engineering, physics, computer science, and mathematics boast strong earning potential and low unemployment rates, which can help prospective employees reap the highest return on their education investment.

Many are concerned, because where there are jobs there isn’t enough talent and where there is talent, jobs are limited. And since ROI is usually only calculated by the maximum money one receives for their time spent in college, top-paying careers which are in-demand are listed as the top careers.

If you are cut out for the analytical work, these advisers say, then do it! For the money.

But what about for those who don’t necessary need the maximum paying career – those who see what they want to contribute and what they themselves are talented in as important first, and then wish to identify how to make a living? Is money the most important thing to all of us? When did economical ROI become the most important aspect of continuing one’s education? And the answer of course, is always for some, and for other’s: when this became a concern.

No, money is not the most important factor for all of us. “Teachers aren’t in it for the money,” for example, is a common expression of the profession. But money can help us get places. Money is necessary to survive. A decent paycheck, good working conditions, and fulfilling our dreams is the ideal for many of us.

If money was the only thing that mattered, then perhaps we would all heed the advice of the higher education advisers who say – enter computer science now! Perhaps it is not that we do not have the ability, talent or work ethic, but simply, that our interests lead us somewhere else. Some of us have our own visions to follow. What then?

Fulfilling Our Highest Visions

We have an economy that is based on creating revenue by selling things we don’t need cheap and making a profit vs. filling real world needs for humanity’s benefit. We are conditioned to want more money and certain things – often brands. There is too much competition in fields we don’t really need, and too many shady businesses and practices that take advantage of people. Imagine if we focused on the best and putting capable people into jobs that actually serve people, imagine if money didn’t matter the way it does for people and businesses of today. But it does because money is the most powerful thing in our world. Even knowledge doesn’t come close to the power money allows a person to yield.

Technology should make things easier on all of us, not take away a limited amount of jobs and further the economic gap between the wealthy and the poor, making only the hardest jobs that cannot easily be filled by technology what’s available to uneducated people. All people should be well-educated. All people have potential. Meaningless jobs should be filled by computers, and people should be encouraged and able pursue their dreams. Make the world a better place. Make themselves better. Make others better. And help the community.

Perhaps I am too partial to romanticizing education. I truly believe that it is one of the most powerful forces in the world; that knowledge, not money, should be the most powerful. However, true education, education of this magnitude, is not, I believe, about pushing out “job-ready” graduates with “hot skills” at the right time or moment to enter a certain market. I believe the true graduates are the ones who leave college having faced themselves, and the world around them, and are ready to enter it; that specific skills are as important as life-skills, self-confidence, and general intelligence. That these hot skills don’t in fact add up if graduates are looking at the job market to pick a career, rather than finding their career based on their innate talents and desired life, whether this means that they work in advertising, as a teacher, professor, fisherman, farmer, agriculturist, or politician. We must find our own path and therefore happiness instead of the world demanding, stealing, insisting it away from us.

So while education is a good and now an almost necessary cost in the vision of this country and our place in it, and while many things influence our futures in a numerical and calculated way – our parent’s education, our education, society’s demands, and media influences – we must insist on making our own dreams and happinesses real. ROI is not only about money gains, although it is often discussed in this matter. You are not a determined by the money you make.

Of course, we must have some kind of practical plan. We have to make it work. And following our happiness, indeed can take a lot of work. And many make their visions work by combining them with one of the strong in-demand fields such as in science, technology, education or business. If we love the outcome, then the work in the end means something. This, in my opinion, is what matters.

Primary English Education Policy 2001 in China

China’s Ministry of Education created a foreign language policy in 2001 The policy is entitled, “The Ministry of Education Guidelines for Vigorously Promoting the Teaching of English in Primary Schools.”

This policy has so many positive and negative effects on the society of china. An analysis of policy is given below please read.

The policy states that primary school students are required to start learning English in the third grade. This marked the implementation of a new foreign language policy in the country. The policy included a plan implementation schedule, curriculum design guidelines, textbook selections, training teachers and governing structures. There have been several concerns about the implementation of this policy and for a country with the largest primary school population, the practicality of the policy’s implementation raised several eyebrows. One of the concerns were whether the policy was only geared towards gaining the favor of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic games or whether the policy promoted education equality in the country. Learning English has become high importance for internal and external examinations within the school systems.

n China, there is an exam for students to take to enter into college, called the National University Entrance Qualifying Exam. This exam requires students to test in three subjects: Chinese, English, and Math. Some parents in China find learning English so necessary, they hire tutors to start teaching their children English before they are taught in school

The English language has evidently shown linguistic impacts to all parts of the world. The effects do not only transpire in the micro socio-political lens, but it already holds a significant role that fuelled both the political and social development of societies. These developments then result to the involvement and transpiration of policy efforts and the discussions of language planning as part of the pedagogical component of national educational systems. One interesting case is that of the English Language Teaching (ELT) policy in the People’s Republic of China.

It is noted that China’s educational system has suffered from its unstable policies in foreign language education during the 1950s to 1990s – after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In other words, the English Language Teaching in China was influenced by differing political, economic, social, and educational needs at different times.

Also, the massive drive in the expansion of English proficiency in formal education has in Hertling’s words “the most ambitious language-learning campaign in history”

Education Can Be Had by All Ages

There is no such thing as too old to learn. We are all capable of extending our knowledge at any time in life. It doesn’t have to be only for the young to take on a degree or two. It is possibly best when one is older because they know what they want and make better students. One of the best innovations in recent years has been the University of the Third Age for those who just want knowledge without a degree.

In Australia, as it is in most western countries, the universities make no discrimination on age. While one may feel a little strange when first on campus that soon fades as the work is so interesting and the speed of learning heats up.

Assignments are often hard work but the degree of satisfaction when they are completed is part of the enjoyment of a student’s life. Every one of these tasks is a learning curve that requires research and understanding to obtain good marks.

While older folk may not go into a degree with a view to changing the world they can easily aim to a career change. Some opt for a teaching position while others do nursing and such. In my case it was archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics that were my passion.

These subjects followed my research into the origin of language and religion that was requested by the Spirit of the Universe, after my reincarnation gave me the knowledge that religions are based on myths and lies. While I saw it as a huge mountain to climb the ease with which my degree was accomplished with honours set me up to continue my work with the evidence obtained that the visions given to me earlier are supported in the records.

Anyone with an inkling to learn should not hesitate to undergo a university degree. The satisfaction and friends one makes along the way are bonuses but the ability to rise above the mundane to the glorious is in us all, if we only give it a go.

The Importance of Education

For most of the countries the age group between 15-25 years consists of an average of 16%. And this young group holds the role of development of a country. If the policy makers and stake holders can work hand in hand and execute the one key element in the most effective and poised way, then these youths can be the blessing of a country. And that key element is Education. If they fail in that, then it leads to the total disaster of the country’s social, political and economic aspects. There is nothing more dangerous than unemployed, uneducated or undereducated young people. The aims and objectives of education have transformed drastically through each generation. Education should never be something that is static. It should be able to cater the needs of the people according to the society they live in. This can be easily understood by differentiating traditional education system and modern education system. Education is not a privilege of a particular community or group of people. Today almost all countries have accepted the truth that it is the Civil right of a citizen to get education. But here comes the real question, does this right to education is implemented in real meaning. To make this happen and to make this worthwhile to the people, the education system of each of these countries has to ensure four aspects. Let us find out what these aspects are.

  • Extensiveness
  • Effectiveness
  • Equality
  • Employability

The policy makers and education stake holders should consider many factors while implementing the structure and purpose of education, particularly the demography of that particular country. They should be able to cater education to all citizens who fall in the bracket of that age group. Thus the educational system of a country should be extensive as per the demographic requirements. The kinder gardens, schools, Universities should be established in proportion to the population ratio. Not a single aspirant should be denied the right to education due to the lack of educational infrastructure. So, Extensiveness has become the name of the game. There comes equality, for centuries education was confined to only a particular community or some group of people. A large number of people were excluded from the opportunity to get the chance for education. There have been changes in that attitude after long struggle. But still it is a key factor – Equality for education. All citizens irrespective of any kind of social, economic and political barriers should have access to education that they deserve. We have to ensure that excluded groups are getting chances to get involved in the process of education. Or else it is the greatest failure of the entire nation known as global family. It is the responsibility of the country to ensure that, GER (Gross Enrollment Ratio) works equally proportional to the specific age group of that country. Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) or Gross Enrollment Index (GEI) is a statistical measure used in the education sector and by the UN in its Education Index to determine the number of students enrolled in school at several different grade levels (like elementary, middle school and high school), and use it to show the ratio of the number of students who live in that country to those who qualify for the particular grade level.

Even though most of the countries were much focused in key aspects like extensiveness and equality in education, there is one crucial thing that they have ever failed or never focused much – Effectiveness. The quality of the education they were imparting. The quality of education became secondary to the quantity of the options that were given to the students. If the education is without a purpose, then how it can meet the needs of the people, so there arises the question, why this education? This can lead us to large mass of educated but unemployed people. Where we are going to utilize them or how we are going to work this out. If the education of a country never caters to the needs of the economic needs of a country or the skills expected by companies or organizations, then all these efforts to enrich the educational system will be futile. Various educational thinkers have always questioned the accountability of the education that was provided. Most of the employers have expressed their concerns that the most of the graduates are unfit for the job. There are job opportunities, but there is lack of skilled employees for the particular position. So there arises the question, what we have to teach them or make them capable of. Here the only solution is, the skills of individuals should be identified, and they should be given the chance to excel in their trade. And also the policy makers have to take into consideration what the employers require, what skill sets they expect from their candidates. Unless these are taken into consideration, our educated group becomes worthless for themselves and for the world. This should never happen.

The Benefit of Correctional Education to Reduce Recidivism in Namibia

Education programmes in Namibia’s correctional facilities are aimed from being incarcerated to re-integration making education in its facilities a big-corner stone for the offenders. Correctional education is a fundamental component to rehabilitative programming offered in confinement facilities around the country.

Staff members must understand the differences between screening and diagnostic testing in order to determine the psychological and educational level of the offender, in order to effectively place offenders according to their learning abilities. These educational programmes are aimed to equip offenders with basic reading and writing skills making them possible to communicate with fellow offenders, officers and stakeholders. The Adult Education programmes in Namibian’s Correctional facilities are aimed at enabling offenders with employment opportunities once they are released. This will therefore build on their self-esteem and enhance proper rehabilitation with the help of psychologists and social workers while they are incarcerated.

The education component during incarceration plays an important role during the rehabilitation process. The Namibian Correctional Service therefore makes tremendous effort to prioritize the education of offenders through means of face – face teaching, vocational training and tertiary learning in order to equip the offenders with knowledge and skills. The role of teachers in this kind of environment is faced with many challenges, for example education might be interrupted in the interest of security. It is apparent that educational staff is faced with the ever-present challenge of finding the right balance between being a correctional officer and educationist at the same time. Teachers must find ways to motivate learners to stay focused despite their present world of confinement that can contribute to limited expectations and motivations of the learners.

Moreover, a correctional education program should strive to focus its curriculum on teaching basic skills within the context of social and decision-making skills for the benefit of the offenders more recently full-time teachers was introduced within the system offering more hours of instruction in order to ensure quality.

The opinion about Correctional facilities to the General public is a place to be scared of but least did they know what kind of activities are presented such as rehabilitation activities, education and vocational training in order for rehabilitation process to take place. Educational programs within confined areas also reduce recidivism meaning offenders not re-offending, particularly because these programs aim to impact the way an individual thinks. Various theories of learning and teaching exist on how to educate students. Although students have individual differences in the way they process information and learn, basic theories explain ways in which student learning can be maximized. The facility offered an innovative educational program that combined academic, social, and vocational aspects with other non-educational factors, such as exercising and outdoor activities. The programs help offenders develop the necessary social skills to avoid crime and addiction once they return to society. Therefore education programs create the fostering of social attitudes and instilling of temperaments that contradict the anti-social norms of confinement life.

As a result, behavioural programs have been created and implemented in order to correct criminal thinking patterns. These programs aim to restructure their thinking ability and to help create positive thinking. On the other hand, education, vocational training, has moderate effects in reducing recidivism and increasing positive behaviour. Vocational programs in correctional facilities are successful due to the fact that they provide a change from confinement routines. They also provide services for offenders after they are released and provide clear opportunities for success in life after release. These opportunities for advancement are a significant incentive for offender’s participation in vocational programs. Correctional literacy programs should address different learning styles, literacy levels, and cultures. They should be centred on the student and adapted to be applicable to confinement culture.

Through education, we begin to learn about ourselves and that is the key to its importance, self-awareness which will in turn break the cycle of recidivism. In addition, the Namibian Correctional facilities provide integrated and applicable vocational and basic academic training. It is of utmost importance that Namibia Correction Services provide correctional education programs that will be successful in the institution, with the aim of successfully re-integrate the offenders to become productive members of society once they are released.