Lessons of recessions: Sustainability education and jobs may be the answer
The Great Recession was a great opportunity to start training/educating people for future jobs, including green jobs and sustainability. Sadly, most universities kept up the education and training for jobs of the old economy, where many of those jobs would never return.
The Great Recession that officially starting in December of 2007 has been painful, but a lot of good has, and will, come from it. It provides the framework and the incentives to innovate and retire old obsolete and wasteful business attitudes. It will allow the regulators to catch up with all of the people behaving badly; the wasteful and greedy unethical ones that helped fuel the bubbles that led to such a massive collapse of housing and complicated financial instruments based on over inflated asset valuations. Many aspects of this deep recession will take a long time to recover, especially the labor market.
This article discusses the cycles of the economy and possible paths of recovery. The job markets will be especially ugly for years to come. This is an opportunity and a challenge for higher education facilities. A major challenge is to provide education, training and support for the jobs that will exist in the new economy. The challenge is providing education and training when many of the jobs from the past will not be the same in the future. An emphasis on high-demand jobs must be considered, including those that may not yet exist such as sustainability related jobs. In addition, many, discouraged and permanently laid off employees will look toward entrepreneurship. Educational institutions have a unique opportunity, and a serious responsibility, to help re-tool people toward new and innovative careers that will help them, and the economy, flourish.
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