Why California is investing over $200 million in vocational education

90603919

More Americans are going to college than ever before. The most recent census found that 33.4 percent of adults over the age of 24 have earned a bachelor’s degree or more. Kurt Bauman, Chief of the Education and Social Stratification Branch for the U.S. Census describes this as, “a significant milestone” for the country.

For many, however, higher education remains a privilege that is financially inaccessible. One way students can invest in their futures without investing in a bachelor’s degree is through vocational education. By enrolling in vocational education programs, students can earn degrees in high-demand fields like nursing, business and engineering which can lead to high-paying jobs. Still, many students believe that a bachelor’s degree is the only path to success.

In order to change this, the state of California is spending $200 million to encourage more students to earn a vocational certificate instead of a bachelor’s degree.

93258564

Hill Street Studios | Getty Images

The U.S. Government defines vocational education as, “organized educational programs offering a sequence of courses which are directly related to the preparation of individuals in paid or unpaid employment in current or emerging occupations requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.”

These programs, offered by community colleges across the country, are by definition designed to help students find employment. Reports from the U.S. Department of Education indicate that people with vocational education have slightly higher rates of employment than those with academic credentials. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, there are over 30 million jobs that pay an average of $55,000 a year and do not require a bachelor’s degree. The healthcare industry alone is creating millions of high-paying jobs that don’t require students to study for four years.

Despite the benefits of vocational education, it has yet to appeal to American students on a broad scale. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 8 percent of undergraduates are enrolled in a vocational certificate program. Derrick Roberson, 17, tells PBS, “All throughout high school, they made it sound like going to college was our only option.” Today, Roberson is training to be an electrician.

In many regions, vocational programs have even declined in popularity. For instance, in 2000, 31 percent of community college students in California took vocational courses. Today, only 28 percent of students take these courses.

Experts believe that students hesitate to enter vocational training programs in part because of fears that industries like manufacturing will replace workers with robots. Business consultant Sam Geil told PBS, “It doesn’t help when industry is moving out and laying people off.”

93119556

Hill Street Studios | Getty Images

Despite these fears, California is investing over $200 million in vocational education. Today, California Community Colleges is the largest provider of workforce training in the country. The state hopes to use the money to improve the reputation of vocational education and deliver it more effectively.

The New York Times points out that this kind of investment from the government helps corporations cut costs: “They want schools and, by extension, the government to take on more of the costs of training workers that used to be covered by companies as part of on-the-job employee development.” In other countries like Germany, companies are heavily involved in training workers.

Still, Andrew Hanson, a senior research analyst with Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce told Matt Krupnick, “Efforts like California’s to broaden the appeal are exactly what we need.”

Don’t miss:
The 20 most in-demand jobs that pay over $100,000
5 technical skills that will lead to a high-paying in-demand job
The 10 least stressful college majors can lead to some of the highest-paying jobs

The highest paying jobs that don't require a master's degree
[“Source-cnbc”]

Uber Being Probed by FBI Over ‘Hell’ Software to Interfere With Rivals

Uber Being Probed by FBI Over 'Hell' Software to Interfere With Rivals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • FBI is looking into Uber’s illegal competition intefering software
  • Uber’s software was being used to track the Lyft drivers
  • The investigation is being led by the FBI’s New York office

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing to see if Uber Technologies had used software to illegally interfere with its competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The investigation is focusing on Uber’s program that could track drivers working for rival service Lyft, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the investigation.

The investigation is being led by the FBI’s New York office and the Manhattan US attorney’s office, the Journal said.

Separately, Uber will cease using diesel cars in London by the end of 2019 and the vast majority of rides will be in electric or hybrid vehicles by then, the taxi app said on Friday.

At the moment the company says around half of all the journey miles completed in the British capital are undertaken with greener vehicles on the firm’s standard low-cost UberX service, which lets customers book journeys on their smartphone.

Several carmakers have announced plans in recent months to electrify a large proportion of their new cars, with Volvo becoming the first major carmaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040, replicating plans by France and cities such as Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.

Uber, which has about 40,000 London drivers, will only offer electric or hybrid models on UberX by the turn of the decade and plans to do the same by 2022 nationwide.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Cambridge University Press faces boycott over China censorship

Cambridge University Press was urged to refuse censorship requests for not only its China Quarterly journal but also any other topics or publications. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA

Cambridge University Press must reject China’s “disturbing” censorship demands or face a potential boycott of its publications, academics have warned, as a Communist party newspaper attacked critics of Beijing’s information war as “arrogant and absurd”.

In a petition published on Monday, academics from around the world denounced China’s attempts to “export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative”.

The appeal came after it emerged that Cambridge University Press (CUP), the world’s oldest publishing house, had complied with a Chinese instruction to block online access to more than 300 politically sensitive articles from its highly respected China Quarterly journal. The blacklisted articles covered topics including Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen massacre and the cult of personality some claim is emerging around China’s president, Xi Jinping.

The petition attacked CUP’s move and urged it “to refuse the censorship request not just for the China Quarterly but on any other topics, journals or publication that have been requested by the Chinese government”.

“If Cambridge University Press acquiesces to the demands of the Chinese government, we as academics and universities reserve the right to pursue other actions including boycotts of Cambridge University Press and related journals,” it added.

The author of the petition, Peking University economics professor Christopher Balding, said he hoped it would serve as an alert to how China had dramatically stepped up its efforts to stifle free thinking since Xi became its top leader in 2012and began a severe crackdown on academia and civil society. “I think this is an increasing problem that really needs to be addressed much more forcefully by the international academic community,” he said.

Balding complained that while it was fashionable for academics and publishers to attack US president Donald Trump, they were far more cautious about criticising Xi’s authoritarian regime for fear of reprisals. “Standing up to the Chinese government involves definite costs. It is not an easy thing to do. There will be potentially punitive measures taken against you. But if it is a principle that is right in the UK and if it is right in the US, then it should also be right in China. And there will be times when you have to accept costs associated with principles.”

Another signatory, Griffith University anthropologist David Schak, said he believed CUP had sullied its centuries-old reputation by bowing to China’s demands. “Cambridge seems to be the one who is now censoring rather than China, even though they are doing it at the request of China … They have soiled their copy book.”

Schak added: “It makes you wonder what they are in the business of doing … I thought university presses were there to publish good research.”

“They are acceding to China whereas [they should have said]: ‘What you do, we can’t stop you from doing that but we are not going to do that ourselves.’ You put the onus entirely back on the Chinese government rather than cooperating with them.”

Suzanne Pepper, a Hong Kong-based writer whose piece on politics in the former colony was among the blocked China Quarterly articles, said she expected censorship from China’s rulers but not from CUP. “It makes them complicit, accomplices in the fine art of censorship, which we are all supposed to deplore,” she said.

Chinese intellectuals also lamented the attempt to limit their access to foreign research. “This whole case makes me feel extremely disappointed,” Li Jingrui, a Chinese novelist, wrote on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. In an oblique reference to China’s one-party state, she added: “I’m left with the feeling that there is absolutely no escape since every single breath on Earth belongs to the king.”

Advertisement

The Global Times, a Communist party-controlled tabloid, rejected criticism of China’s tight internet controls, claiming they were designed to protect the country’s security and were “within the scope of China’s sovereignty”.

“Western institutions have the freedom to choose. If they don’t like the Chinese way, they can stop engaging with us,” the nationalist newspaper argued in an English-language editorial. “If they think China’s internet market is so important that they can’t miss out, they need to respect Chinese law and adapt to the Chinese way.

“Westerners [who complain about China’s internet controls] are arrogant and absurd,” it added.

An article in the paper’s Chinese-language edition put the same argument in even starker terms, calling opponents of the CUP decision “ridiculous”.

“China is powerful now and is able to protect its own interests,” it said.

[“Source-theguardian”]

 

Teachers flag concerns over budgets cuts in education

Up in arms: Teachers protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday. Sandeep Saxena   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Seek revised pay scales, regularisation of contractual staff

College and university teachers from across the country protested at Jantar Mantar on Monday, raising concerns over low budget allocation in the education sector.

The protest was organised by the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (AIFUCTO). Appealing to the Centre, the body demanded the implementation of the 7th UGC pay revision recommendations after consultation with it and other teachers’ bodies.

It also demanded the regularisation of temporary and contractual teachers, introduction of pay scales and service conditions for part-time and ad hoc teachers, and filling up of vacancies.

‘Scrap API’

Members of the AIFUCTO also demanded scrapping of the Academic Performance Index (API) system, which was introduced by the University Grants Commission to assess teachers before their promotions are granted.

A statement issued by the AIFUCTO read, “All Central government employees, except university and college teachers, are getting their revised pay scales and allowances. Service conditions and terms of career advancement in the teaching profession are becoming stiffer by the day.”

Seeking immediate relief, the statement further read, “The time has come when, as educated minds of the society, we rise up against the autocratic and anti-teachers/anti-education activities of the government.”

The members also protested against the new pension scheme introduced for those appointed after 2004, which does not guarantee any clear amount to them after retirement.

‘Excessive centralisation’

The AIFUCTO also stated that there had been “blatant attempts to throttle the autonomy of higher education through excessive centralisation” under the garb of reforms.

Members of the Haryana Government Teachers’ Association, West Bengal College Teachers’ Association, and Rajasthan University and College Teachers’ Association, among others, participated in the protest.

[“Source-thehindu”]