Career Innovations! Jobs for the 21st Century

2012-04-02 16:48

We have entered the 21st century – a high competitive century that is knowledge-driven and knowledge-dependent. The 21st century is a century that requires new set of skills and high-level competencies. The 21st century is the century fueled and driven by expertise that are necessary for the growth and prosperity of a modern economy.

The key for success and prosperity in such economy is innovation in education and training. Education and training that equips people to fulfill specialized functions to pursue vocations in business, trade, industry and the arts.

For so long universities have been the epicenters of learning and career development. But with the emerging 21st century economy many are beginning to question university education that is so heavy in abstract ideas, abstract concepts and theory and less on readymade technical skills.

The technikon model of education that has served industry better through the years is increasingly being collapsed or swallowed into mainstream traditional universities. What you have outside traditional expensive inaccessible university education is further education and training colleges. Further education and training colleges have the potential of becoming career centers - places that teach people readymade skills that local businesses are looking for right now.

They may not get the credit they deserve, they may not get the same resources as universities, but further education and training colleges if developed and nurtured are gateways for a better educated society. These are places where a large number of young people can continue their education after senior school certificate considering FTE colleges’ open admission and low cost tuition fees.

Strategies should be put in place to cut through the maze of confusing training programs. The new legislation on post school education developed by the Department of Higher Education and Training is silent in how FET colleges could be potential career, jobs educational centers that can greatly assist in preparing young people for jobs in the knowledge intensive economy.

The standard of education and training has to be raised and competent lecturers and tutors should be hired and retained in further education and training colleges. And campuses need to be developed to make them attractive to student development and learning. So far the country has built multi-million dollar world class stadiums. What is required is not stadiums but to develop FET college campuses as high tech learning centers that will make FET college students proud, confident and competent learners thus enabling them to be innovative and creative in their chosen careers.

FET colleges represent the largest and most affordable sector of further and higher education. The challenge is not just to get students into FET colleges, but to keep them there, increasing completion rates by developing innovative programmes for their development and success in life.

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