The Employability Narrative

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Dec 19, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Audrey Watters has spent the last week working on articles for her annual Top Ed-Tech Trends series. Today's newsletter (to make up for yesterday's missing newsletter) summarizes four of them.

One of the value propositions of my own LPSS Program was to address 'the skills shortage'. It's a narrative, of course, and nothing like the whole story behind our work. But it's a narrative that was pushed back and forth all year. Is there really a skills shortage? Should schools, colleges and universities be the means we employ to address the skills shortage (as opposed to, say, simply paying people more, which is what a free market would do)? We take are told graduates aren't ready for the workplace. Education helps, though, but as Watters notes, even an elite university degree doesn't protect a black student from racism. And what should people learn? To code? To be good citizens? To appreciate Star Wars? Some of Watters's sharpest critiques are reserved for this topic. And well they should be.

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