Video Interview in U.K. Immediately After Keynote About U.S. Job Market for College GradsJune 04, 2012 by Steven Rothberg
Last week I had the good fortune to fly over to Leeds, England to keynote their annual Graduate Employment Conference. CEO of Graduates Yorkshire and Gradcore Martin Edmondson asked me to deliver a presentation about the U.S. job market for college and university students and recent graduates. Many of the issues we’re facing are similar to those they’re facing. They’re experiencing some of them before we do and we’re experiencing some before they do.
One issue that I knew was important but didn’t realize just how important it would be to them was the high cost of attending just about any type of post-secondary school. The cost of attending a higher education institution is far higher in the U.S. than it is in almost any other country and FAR higher than it is to attend an equivalent school in the United Kingdom. But their recent implementation of austerity measures threatens to put their schools on a similar path to that which our schools have long been on. Without exception, every attendee and organizer with whom I spoke greatly appreciated my urging that they do not follow our lead as we are making higher education impossible for many and soon, I fear, for most. As bad as that would have been decades ago, it is even worse moving forward as we cannot and should not hope to compete against other nations to see which can manufacture goods at the lowest possible cost. Unless we want our citizenry to again have third world standards of living, we need to ensure they have first world standards of work. And that means that we need a workforce which uses the muscles between their ears more than the muscles on their backs.
Below is the PowerPoint that I used for the presentation:A View of College Recruiting From Across the Pond: Trends in the U.S. Labor Market
The conference was one day in length and attended by roughly 100 career service office professionals and 20 employer representatives. Attendance seemed somewhat skewed toward people who live and/or work in Yorkshire but there were people from all over the U.K. in attendance including some who traveled almost as many hours as I did to attend. The morning was organized as a traditional conference with one hour presentations. The afternoon was much more interactive as it was organized by Bill Boorman of the Tru events as an unconference with session leaders but the sessions themselves were much more like roundtable discussions than speaker led presentations. I loved the combination of the traditional presentations in the morning followed by the unconference discussions in the afternoon. Much of what was discussed in the morning was then analyzed in the afternoon. Every single person with whom I spoke thought the day was WELL worth their time.
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