Was your degree precisely applicable to what you do today for a career? Our Economic Development Workforce Development Manager Jake Maxwell shares his thoughts on that and how Salt Lake City’s higher education is now preparing our workforce. Read on and as always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

When you went to college, did you find it frustrating that everything was measured in hours? Your credit hours meant you had to spend hours in the classroom. Doesn’t this suppose all students learn at the same speed? How does a school quantify precisely how many hours it takes for someone to learn a subject, let alone a group of people under one instructor.

Many schools locally are leading the way in deeming this an outdated unit of measurement and students can learn at variable speeds, as well as immerse themselves in work based learning without having to wait for a semester start date. I keep saying that eventually the consumer of education (students) will dictate the definition of the product, and eventually it won’t be the colleges like Western Governors University, Neumont UniversityLDS Business College, and Salt Lake Community College giving students the most return on their investment by exposing them to work scenarios from day one.Competency Based Education

Going back to imagining yourself in college – was your degree precisely applicable to what you do today for a career? Many of us, including myself, would say “no”. I would have loved exposure to not just a “day in the life” of the career I thought I wanted, but multiple semesters. I likely would have changed majors early on and saved myself some money.

Training for some schools is not just getting faster, but it’s reducing the debt of kids who make choices with little information and don’t end up using their learning, as well as building a workforce who has been exposed to the jobs the school will claim they are prepared for. As things are now, businesses can no longer assume a degree means a person can do the job.

For more information on Competency Based Learning and other great changes locally, here is a great article recently released:  https://www.utahbusiness.com/employer-needs/