Much before Schools & Colleges made their first appearance, we had a society that had people doing what they were best at, using skills that they were prolific with.
With the advent of Schools & Colleges that lay more emphasis on Academic Subjects as against Hands-on Training, hence the focus shifted from getting an individual ready for Work to getting an individual ready for a Degree. With it came the distinction of the White Collar vs Blue Collar jobs and the mindset that a high-level, 3-4 year Degree education, also adding more degrees was the only measure of success for a person in the Professional Arena.
The fact remains, that not everyone is suited or is good at Math, History, Biology and other conventional subjects that are characterized by a College Degree. Not everyone is enamoured with the Shakespearean Literature or fascinated with ancient History as well. Some focus well in a Classroom, while others learn by doing and perform best in a Workshop, Studio or Shop floor environment. The widespread “University Degree Leading to a Job” approach has pushed awareness of other possible career paths to the boundaries.
The compounded effect over the years has been that many newer sectors are growing & modernizing, in the process creating a pool of well-paying lucrative jobs for those with the required expertise, but not many skilled people available to do them. Many of the jobs in the different domains actually do not require the kind of knowledge that the traditional College Degrees bring; rather what is required is Specialised Industry Focused Training that would impart the individuals with proper Skills, Know-how and Proficiency to do the tasks essentially required.
The mindset that a Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) is lesser than an “esteemed” Academic Qualification has resulted in a scenario where only a handful of employers are satisfied with the workforce they have, while a lot many are having difficulty recruiting staff with the precise aptitude required for the job. The consequence gets evident with the Economy of the Country and the World at large, as countries are increasingly grappling with the dearth of a responsive & efficient workforce that can effectively adjust to the Industry demands.
The need of the hour is to bring the Spotlight back to the TVET in addition to the high school foundational learning. The National & International focus ought to be oriented towards developing youth that has strong Industrial Skills along with some educational background to meet the ever growing & changing market needs.
With the right kind of talent filling in the given jobs, firms can be more productive and in-turn the economies could grow faster. The resultant domino effect would be a sense of fulfillment both for the Individual and as well as the Society at large.