ERIC Number: ED372192
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Higher Education and the Changing Nature of the American Workforce--Responses, Challenges, and Opportunities. EQW Working Papers WP21.
Zemsky, Robert; Oedel, Penney
Technology and international competition have transformed business practices and employment patterns. The migration of high-paying jobs from manufacturing to services, the growing importance of small firms in the U.S. economy, and the development of new technical occupations characterized by often sophisticated technologies and the absence of clearly defined career paths and status have increased the importance of the college degree in today's job market. However, college degrees cannot in themselves ensure successful lifelong careers. The biggest challenge facing higher education today is finding ways of meeting the demand for college degrees that confer genuine job skills. Whether higher education will cope with the turbulence created by labor market changes is an open question. The pessimistic scenario holds that failure to respond adequately to labor market changes will eventually weaken higher education's credential monopoly. The optimistic scenario reaffirms the importance of college degrees in an increasingly competitive labor market. Optimists argue that colleges and universities will become more adaptive and more outletlike in their approaches to questions of delivery and overhead. (MN)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, Philadelphia, PA.