Vocational studies have long been affected by limited innovation and low status. As education experts and parents moved away towards more effective options that would give learners an edge in the increasingly competitive job market, vocational education was left to fade away.
Is Vocational Education Fading Away?
A new report, titled “Education to Employment: Getting Europe’s Youth into Work” from McKinsey, a management consultancy, reveals the miserable state of vocational 0. Among the 7 nations that were surveyed, in 4 countries over 50 percent of the youth who are pursuing academic courses claimed that they would prefer a vocational course instead.
But they opted to choose otherwise due to lack of reputation and disorganisation. In Britain, more than 150 establishments offer over 20,000 vocational qualifications. In the United States, the government departments are responsible for the courses. However, Germany has been an exception in this regard from the beginning.
But it seems many countries are now attempting to change the scenario. For instance a Workforce and Productivity Agency has been set up in Australia. Moreover various new innovations are being introduced into the vocational studies market.
Why We Need Vocational Education
The fact is there are several prominent reasons for vocational education to gain momentum and expand its reach. Here you will find some of them-
Increasing Youth Unemployment
At present, youth unemployment has become a serious concern for everyone across the globe. Although the youth unemployment rate in the US is comparatively low at only 15 per cent, but this is still exceptionally high for a nation that used to pride on a flexible labour market and full employment.
Simultaneously there is increasing number of complaints from employers about shortage of skills among applicants worldwide. Among the European employers who were surveyed by the management consultancy McKinsey, 27 per cent claimed many vacancies were left unfilled as the recruiters were unable to find candidates with the right skills and qualities. Moreover one third of the employers believe that the skills shortage is creating serious challenges for their business.
Growing Cost of Higher Education
But the problems actually lie much deeper. Higher education programmes from colleges and universities worldwide are getting more and more expensive and increasingly inefficient for mass education. America currently has $1 trillion worth in student debt. Many experts believe that these are getting poor value for money by pursuing college education. They are spending a lot of money and working hard to earn a college degree/diploma that fails to fetch a desirable job.
Time to Retool Vocational Studies
As a result of all this, innovation has taken over and has led to the emergence of online education, which is remarkably suited for vocational studies. Online learning is much more affordable than college and offers quality education to students across the globe. Moreover, the learners can pursue vocational training and do a job at the same time as these programmes are highly flexible.
Competency-based education is developed to promote lifelong learning and is divided into small modules that help the learners to understand the lessons easily. Students can study at their own time as per their convenience as the content can be easily accessed over the web. They can also choose the duration of the programme, which can last for months or years, depending on their present lifestyle. Due to continuous assessment, learners gain mastery over a number of skills and can also earn a recognised qualification at the end of the programme.
This amalgamation of innovation, technology and new teaching methods has compelled several established universities to offer useful programmes online. Moreover many innovators are also expecting to generate new businesses through the renovation and re-emergence of vocational education. With the further expansion of online education and technological advancement, vocational studies will become more popular among today’s youth and gain more ground.
What do you think about online education and vocational studies? We would love hear your views and opinions. Feel free to comment below.