What is a “Skills Gap”?
June 9, 2016
June 9, 2016
We recently attended an economic development presentation hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The discussion centered on solving the skills gap in our local market. It’s estimated that 11% of businesses believe that recent college graduates are prepared for work. Interestingly, 35% of those graduates believe they are prepared.
What does it take to be prepared? Who is responsible for what it takes?
If I was considering further education or career training I would want those answers. I’m not sure there’s a single answer though. Every career field is different. Just within the medical field there are differences in training requirements for various jobs. A doctor attends university level training in stages. First he has to earn a Bachelor degree to learn how to learn. Then several years of medical school after that to learn the mechanics of science and medicine. After that he has to do a residency where he gets a chance to apply what he learned in a learning/employment setting. And for the rest of his career he has to keep learning as new research develops new techniques to perform his job.
If you want to train to be a nurse it may not take as long but there is a similar process. Go to school to learn the nursing profession, the language, the biology. Then you do your ‘residency’ to validate your training. Then you apply for a job. Are you ready? According to studies, 89% of employers may not think so.
Career College of Northern Nevada uses a similar approach in the Medical Assistant training program and Pharmacy Technician training programs. You go to school for an even shorter time frame and capstone the training with an externship at the end. The externship is a class that is graded like any other class in the allied health training program, but it’s not held on campus. It is held in a real world employment setting. This course gives an employer an opportunity to judge your job readiness. The employer’s feedback is used in determining the grade earned for that course.
So what does it take to be ready for a Medical Assistant job or a Pharmacy Technician job? Employers tell us they want an employee to be confident and ready to step in. Employers have limited resources and don’t have time to waste waiting for an employee to become productive. In the medical fields patient care is critical. Patients don’t have the patience to wait for the practitioner to become confident. That is why we attempt to set up real world experiences in our classrooms and labs. Our labs are designed to simulate the job site so the students can practice in real world settings and become confident before we send them to an externship.
In the 1950s employers were responsible for providing job training. In the 1980s the responsibility was outsourced to community colleges and vocational technical schools. In today’s job market it is the responsibility of the employee to be well trained. If you want to work as a Medical Assistant or Pharmaceutical Technician because you care about people, consider beginning your training with Career College of Northern Nevada. Our teachers have been where you want to be and have a passion for healthcare.