Industry Highlight: August 2022

A New Second Step

By Robert Henry


Because I cannot say it any better, I must quote from a recent report by The Bureau of Labor Statistics to introduce this month’s topic.

“The number of job openings in our country increased to 10.9 million, a record high. At the same time, the U.S. is experiencing a labor shortage of historic proportions. The need to connect Americans to career mobility has never been greater, and yet our country's education and workforce systems have long lacked a true bridge between high school and upward career mobility after graduation, especially for students not immediately attending four-year universities.”


When they say, “have long lacked,” can we interpret that as meaning, “has always lacked”? I say this because, in this great nation, public education has been provided for most people since 1827 and has always been touted as the first step toward preparation for life. The second step has been primarily marketed as a college education though, historically, fewer than two-thirds of high school graduates even enroll in college and of those, statistics have proved that 40 percent drop out (30% within the first year). I know I am throwing a great deal at you! The point is we now know that college is not for everyone but earning a living is! In 1917 vocational education began to be funded as a public education elective but, during most of the 20th century, it was primarily promoted to students who were perceived as not having a realistic chance of a college education. Still ignoring the statistics, public education kept trending in the same direction.

Welcome to the change in basic assumptions; a focus on a New Second Step, one that recognizes “there is more than one way to skin a cat or prepare for making a living.” This New Second Step has been in the making for many years but with the pandemic and the boon in technology, it is being focused on in a major way. Technical education is receiving a huge boost of support from the government; so much so that serious individuals seeking to grow can find financial support that was not available when looking to enter college. In the state of Ohio, the TechCred program lets companies apply for up to $30,000 to be used only for employee training. Ohio has made it possible to advance your career and skillset within your current job role.


For the past thirty-three years, The Computer Workshop has recognized the need to train individuals and teams for growing success in the modern workplace. In our beginning, many professional jobs required a college degree, and the training was simply keeping workers up to date with the latest tools and software, but times always change. We’ve remained abreast of the growth in the industry and have seen that more employers are entertaining hiring skilled practitioners with experience and certifications over those with only a degree.


The Computer Workshop has always been welcoming to forward-thinking persons wanting to enhance their skillset through certified training. Adult learners (defined as those older than 25) are looking for cost-effective solutions that have the flexibility to fit into their busy schedules. These certifications can result in a lucrative career in a fraction of the time and cost of pursuing a college credential. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, over 70% of college students take less than the prescribed number of credits per semester because of the need to work, which results in 40% of those who do graduate taking upwards of six years to finish a four-year degree. Most certificates leading to lucrative careers take less than two years to complete and can usually fit into a flexible work schedule.


Take it from me, who has a lifetime of education as experience, each individual needs to decide their own pathway to personal happiness and since all persons need to earn a living the two should merge harmoniously. Since history shows that most souls progress through life outside the collegiate atmosphere, you should seriously consider that you might be one of those many students. You might find your happiness via the Certified Career training pathway and The Computer Workshop can be your partner along the way.