How Unions Can Help Solve The Student Debt Crisis and Skills Gap

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  • “Degree inflation” is a known major issue:
  • Harvard study: 69% of jobs require a Bachelor’s degree or higher, 50% of workers don’t have one
  • 61% of employers have rejected an otherwise qualified  candidate because they didn’t have a degree
  • A caveat: one downside of emplovers opening up who they will hire is downward pressure on wages.
  • Employers keep asking for highly specific degrees, so it’s not really any Bachelor’s degree any more
  • Fast food and retail are the new American jobs, the default, where everyone will need to start or may regress to during economic hardships regardless of their career path. That is why we should care about making them quality jobs. They have replaced factory jobs.
  • Factory jobs used to serve as a way of bringing people into the middle class without high skills (employers would train them) or a degree, and this was made possible by unions.
  • WSJ: Employers getting way more selective for higher wage, white collar jobs:
  • People being subjected to nine rounds of interviews, having to create entire marketing strategies and defending them like a thesis before these employers, and having to spend upwards of 20 hours on one employer’s interview process
  • Constant need for new, specific skills and technologies
  • People are going to keep having to go into debt every 10-15 years for master’s and doctorate degrees to be able to meet employers’ requirements. This is really adding to the student loan crisis.
  • Formal education should not have to play the role of job training. It provides the fundamental intellectual toolbox to learn and lead.
  • Unions have provided apprenticeships traditionally and digital training in modern days
  • But employers are like “what’s in it for me if they’ll just leave?” Hence they won’t offer training and just keep asking workers to pay for more and more education on their own.
  • Employer lock in agreements/TRAPs from coding boot camps and even now for PetSmart groomers are capitalism’s crappy solution.
  • Portability of union training vs employers promotes mobility instead of hindering it
  • Bargaining for student loan repayment assistance and tuition reimbursement

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