Good magazine has recently published another in its series of ‘infographics‘, this one about education and trends affecting the workforce.  Using data from Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, IES National Center for Education Statistics, and the “Pathways to Prosperity Report“, from Harvard Graduate School of Education,  Good magazine reports that

“Since 1973, the number of jobs that require at least some college has more than tripled, while those requiring a high school diploma or less have flat-lined”.   Some interesting results:

  • Some of the highest growth jobs with high wages: Physicians Assistants, Dental Hygienists, and Veterinarians.
  • Nationwide, only 56% of students complete their Bachelor’s degree in a six-year ‘window’; only 29% complete their Associate’s degree in a three-year ‘window’
  • However, 62% MORE students are enrolled in higher education than they were in 1980

But are these record numbers of students being trained as effectively as they could be?  According to a 2006 report published by the Conference Board, today’s high-school graduates are “ill prepared” for the 21st century workforce.  However . . . there is good news.  Completion of a Bachelor’s degree means being well-prepared in almost every area. In addition to traditional skills, managers and business leaders are also recommending that students be prepared in the “four c’s: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity”.

What does this have to do with  the academic library?  We hope you will take advantage of the spaces we offer  for collaborative learning, the ability to structure your research questions in order to get the right resources at the right time, so you can communicate with your professors and/or group members about your findings, and the encouragement to seek the truth,  to foster critical thinking, and, as always, to inspire your creativity with rich cultural resources.

If you haven’t been lately, stop by your local library.  You might be surprised at what you find!

Here’s to your future, both in the workforce and in our larger communities!