By Jim Tisdel, director of Corporate and Community Education at North Central Michigan College
There are over 4,450 jobs available here in northwest Michigan that are going unfilled, according to Labor Insight-Burning Glass.
No, they are not all low-paying jobs, but they are jobs in which employers are looking for some level of continued education after high school, some experience, and a work ethic. In addition, more than 70 percent of these jobs, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Market Information-Michigan, do not required a four-year degree and do provide a very reasonable living wage. So why do these jobs go unfilled? Awareness, information, desire, lack of seeing a job as the beginning of a career — any and all of these play a role.
Possibly the most overlooked thing for people to comprehend is that every job, no matter how simple or low paying, is a stepping stone to their next job, and more importantly a career. In sports it’s easy to see that if you want to play as a professional you begin in a youth league, then a school program, then a college program, then a minor league, and then if you get through all of that you might have a chance to play in the big league. It’s similar in any career; you have to start in an entry level position and build up your talent, skills, and experience. That simple truth is often not understood.
How does this relate to the open, unfilled, jobs in our area? If you don’t know the game you’re not going to want to play. But this topic isn’t a game, it is the path to a good life and a sense of well-being. Planning, effort, and dedication are needed to obtain a rewarding life — just like practice, practice, practice, is needed to obtain any quality level of sport, and for that fact, any career as well.
For years now, the idea that a person needs a four-year degree to get ahead and have a good life has been the most often told story to young people. This is just not true, as most levels of post high school education will bring individuals better opportunities. A technology certificate can bring a job that has high compensation — just as several other categories of certificates, certifications, apprenticeships, and associates degrees will as well. These degrees take months or just a couple of years to receive and come at a more reasonable cost.
So if there are all these jobs available in northwest Michigan, and 70 percent or more don’t require a four-year degree, why aren’t people knowledgeable of the paths to these opportunities?
Read the entire essay here: Education and training important for any job path | Business | petoskeynews.com