Monday, September 19, 2016

RETHINKING COLLEGE - Georgetown University & Skills-Based Boot Camps

"Giving students a leg up with job skills a resume won't show" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2016


SUMMARY:  When applying to a job out of college, having a top-notch resume isn't enough anymore.  College graduates from top schools apply alongside dozens of similarly qualified candidates.  In light of new hiring trends, a program at Georgetown University aims to make their students the best candidates possible, by teaching them skills that will give them a leg up on the job hunt.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now, what specific skills employers want from college graduates, and what a college can do to prove students are ready.

Hari Sreenivasan has the story as part of our special series this week on Rethinking College.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Graduation day at Georgetown University.  It takes four years, more than $200,000, and a lot of hard work to get here.

But now more employers are asking, what does a four-year degree really mean?  What true marketable skills can new graduates offer the work force?

Georgetown University is trying to answer that question.

RANDALL BASS, Professor, Georgetown University:  We're hearing from employers, how do you differentiate between two graduates?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Professor Randall Bass leads the college's Designing the Future Initiative.

RANDALL BASS:  If you have got a pile of 10 graduates who all have degrees from quality liberal arts schools, and they all look more or less alike in terms of their formal credentials, are there ways to differentiate them?

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Last semester, Bass and colleagues at Georgetown offered a free experimental course for students who want to further distinguish themselves.  Instead of receiving a traditional credit, students who meet the requirements are awarded a digital badge.

RANDALL BASS:  What we see in the badges is a way of trying to help students tell a story about some dimension of their learning that might otherwise be merely a line on their resume.

ERIKA COHEN-DERR, Student Engagement, Georgetown University:  It's easy with a degree to show what you have learned in biology or in business.  But it's not easy to show what you have learned in terms of leadership.

"Why high-tech boot camps are appealing to students and lenders" PBS NewsHour 9/16/2016


SUMMARY:  To get a job with a good salary, having a college degree is increasingly vital.  But degrees are also more and more expensive, and don't guarantee job placement.  Skills-based boot camps may provide one solution, by teaching valuable skills in a short period of time.  And support for computer coding camps is flourishing, both from private investors and the government.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

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