Tag Archives: employability skills

University and Employability Skills

Posted by: Mike Peirce on July 22, 2015 2:47 pm

glasses-272401_640There has been a tremendous buzz in the media lately about unemployment, the lack of skills and how universities aren’t preparing their graduates for the world of work. To be frank, I take it all with a grain of salt. While there is no doubt that unemployment is a problem, I am still an old fashioned believer that students should pursue their passions and a university degree opens doors. In 2010, University Canada published an entire series of articles about the value of a university degree (http://www.univcan.ca/media-room/publications/the-value-of-a-university-degree/). On average over their lifetime, university graduates earn $1.3 million more than high school graduates and $1 million more than community college graduates. The National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tba.asp) publishes rates of employment by educational level and the university graduates and again university graduates are well ahead of other educational paths. Similar results are found by the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm).

The issue for the vast majority of students starting university is that they aren’t yet ready to choose a specific career path and that’s okay. University is a place where students can explore their passions. For years, I took annual road trips to universities to chat with my former high school students. A key question I often asked was “What are you studying now?” Inevitably, the vast majority would tell me about a fascinating course or professor they experienced which changed their path. I am pleased to say that virtually all of them are highly successful and employed. You see, whatever they studied, they learned valuable transferable skills which have opened doors for them. Continue reading

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Occupational Information and Its Organization

Posted by: John Stewart on July 13, 2011 11:19 am

In our last presentation, we identified two types of memory used to store information: procedural and declarative.  Within declarative memory we categorized episodic and semantic as two types of memory storage in long-term memory.  We think that semantic memory is where occupational information is stored while episodic memory is where information about the self is stored.  In this presentation, we want to focus on semantic memory. 

Information stored in semantic memory consists of facts, concepts, and relationships among concepts that are verifiable in external reality. For example, we can verify the qualifications and occupational responsibilities of a surgeon.  The information in semantic memory is typically structured in a pyramidal fashion.  Within this hierarchy, the information is related to more sophisticated concepts (sometimes referred to as superordinate concepts) such as lawyers being one of a number of legal professions; and to lower concepts (sometimes known as subordinate concepts) such as lawyers are people who represent others in courts. Storing information in this manner helps individuals to access their information about occupations and the world of work easily. For example, if the only information a person knows about an occupation is that it is performed outdoors, this information is not very effective in thinking about how the occupation differs from other occupations. However, knowing that part of the occupational role is performed outdoors while the other parts are performed in different contexts is more effective in differentiating occupations.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA