Many countries are criticized for favoring those in privileged positions which enables them a leg-up in the corporate world. Unfortunately, there are now fewer chances for Americans to build their skills and get on in the workplace unless they have a top degree or the right connections.
A report by The Economist has shown that if people become trapped in low paid jobs or can’t find the right work, it not only affects their life but also their family, contributing to a cycle of disadvantage and social immobility. It’s therefore fundamentally important to ensure that those in lower paid positions are afforded the opportunities to progress within their workplace if not outside of it.
According to the Education and the Workforce Committee, the recent “economic downturn is a reminder of how critically important education and training opportunities are to workers in an increasingly competitive global economy. Training and education can create jobs and help put Americans back to work”.
“Training and education can create jobs and help put Americans back to work”
Once an individual hits the job market they should be entitled to the same opportunities within an organization as anybody else. Yes, a college education is important but it’s also important to ensure those who work in the mail-room, for example, are given the tools to reach their full potential.
Most professions are dominated by those educated in the best or private schools and from a handful of universities.
But, what about those who want to work their way up the corporate ladder without these advantages?
Research shows that initial education and family background has less to do with movement within organizations because once someone has their foot in the door their progression has more to do with self-motivation, self-development along with the corporate training and company development opportunities provided by their employer. As in school, the harder you work, the better you will do.
For those who did not seek higher education or who enter top colleges, it is important for organizations to offer the kind of job training and additional support to encourage workers to achieve more. Those who do not necessarily see higher education as worth the time or money, can improve their own mobility by working hard and committing with their chosen vocation or organization, and climb the ladder that way. With the abundance of part-time, online and flexible courses available for job training, and corporate guidance to develop their skill-set and gain new qualifications, education does not have to be the only means of improving one’s lot. Improving an individual’s chances to get on in work will help drive the economy, as well as improve social mobility.
According to Gallup, a majority of workers believe that a college degree is not needed to progress in the workplace. With 4 in 10 employed college graduates saying a college degree is not required for the work they do, students are increasingly looking at vocational education, technical training, online education, self-directed learning, and internships to succeed.
A key to ensuring progression in the workplace is by choosing a vocation with lifelong mobility. Ensuring that the choices made at the start of a career will enable a smoother path to promotion and progression throughout.
Employers are looking more at extra-curricular support for their workers, online training and even funding workers through education to ensure their workforce is the best in the business.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, college courses give employees new “general skills” that raise the ability of these workers to qualify for higher pay – their market wage – and may enable them to more easily jump to another job in another firm. It is the firm’s responsibility to supply their employees with these opportunities, which in turn ensures their company an overall professional edge within their industry.
Other avenues including internships and placements can provide valuable opportunities for young people to gain extra skills, increase their understanding of the job or to gain experiences in other areas. Once workers prove the competences required within a specific area they will then be able to progress within that field.
Not only is progression in the workplace key to improving social mobility but it’s also a key economy driver in the United States.
Economic and social mobility depends on increasing fair access to jobs, and by providing education and training to those who might not have a top education achieves this goal.