22 Aug Can ‘White-Collar Apprenticeships’ Close The STEM Skills Gap?
The higher education-career template is still the undisputed way to go for many living in developed countries. In Canada, where I live, more than two million people fill the country’s universities and colleges. 53% of Canadians have post-secondary degrees, the highest of any OECD country.
While we’re lucky to live in such a highly educated society, there’s growing anxiety over whether the conventional rites of passage are compatible with the new world technologists are creating.
Some see a scenario in which hordes of young people lament expensive, near-useless university degrees while companies scour for the rare science, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills they need.
Already 1.3 million Canadians are unemployed while 400,000 Canadian jobs go unfilled. Many of the vacancies are in skilled technical professions and trades, which is perhaps why so many jobless or underemployed young people regret not going to trade school (63% of Canadian unemployed university graduates feel this way, according to a 2016 study).