Economic Perspective: Alternative Training

Economist Mike Walden



“Today’s program looks at alternative training. Mike, I understand the federal government has embarked on a program to improve the outcome for college graduates. What is this program and why has it been developed?”


“Well, it’s a program and it’s starting out very small so we’ll probably evaluate it to see if it expands, but it’s a program to bring more inputs from the business community into the curriculum, particularly of four-year colleges. And I think it’s prompted by data that suggests that between 30 and 40 percent of college graduates say that the specific college degree that they received did not help them get their current job.”

“So the question is, what was it? So we obviously want to increase the worth of college degrees, and this is a program that is designed to do it. What it proposes to do is to get more interaction between businesses and college programs so businesses can tell curriculum developers and departments et cetera. These are the skills we now need, and if your curriculum isn’t delivering those you need to make changes.”

“So it’s going to focus on particular skill training for businesses. Such as, for example, teaching coding in the computer world, and it’s designed to see what lessons we can learn by increasing the relevance of college training so that hopefully we get that 30-40 percent of college grads who say their degree is not helping them way down. I think the bottom line here is to make college more beneficial for both the business world as well as for the students.”

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