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Coming Full Circle: Jobs, Skills, Professional Experience and Young Adults. Dr. Phil Gardner Collegiate employment Research Institute Michigan state University For Students in Transition National resource Center Houston November 13, 2010 For slides contact me at

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coming full circle jobs skills professional experience and young adults

Coming Full Circle:Jobs, Skills, Professional Experience and Young Adults

Dr. Phil Gardner

Collegiate employment Research Institute

Michigan state University


Students in Transition

National resource Center


November 13, 2010

For slides contact me at

the test do you know someone who
The Test: Do You Know Someone Who …..?
  • Lacks motivation
  • Holds lofty and unrealistic expectations (impatient)
  • Is ignorant of the world of work (ill prepared)
  • Has no respect for business culture
  • Displays a poor work ethic
  • Excels in social skills for team oriented environment
  • Possesses no internal guidance system (external voices telling them what to do)
  • “What’s in it for me?”
boomers investment bankers
  • Monetary success
  • Professional prestige
  • Elevated goals (for all behind them)
  • Don’t share well (it’s mine)
  • Control
  • Principals
  • Legacy
    • Make sure it stays as we built it
networked intelligence economy
Networked Intelligence Economy

It’s all about Managing Knowledge and Developing Skills

economic shifts and the skills gap
Economic Shifts and the Skills Gap
  • Knowledge/Networked Economy
    • Requires transdisciplinary individuals
  • Sourcing
    • High quality labor at lowest price
    • Technology substitution
  • Workforce Succession
    • When will they ever leave?
  • Lost Knowledge
    • Leave your brains behind Grandpa!
skill usage the funnel
Skill Usage: The Funnel

Communicate Orally

Think Analytically

Acquire Learning

Evaluate Alternatives

Creative Solutions



Utilize technology

Grasp Realities

Demonstrating Initiative

Apply Learning

Writing Effectively


Grasp Realities Workplace

Acquire Learning

Demonstrating Initiative

the first turn
The First Turn

Based on skills reformation 1.0


Click on Guides to find 12 Essentials

benchmark 12 essentials
Benchmark: 12 Essentials

Developing professional competencies

Communicating effectively

Solving Problems

Balancing Work and life

Embracing Change

Working Effectively in a Team

Working in a Diverse Environment

Managing time and priorities

Navigating across boundaries

Acquiring knowledge

Thinking Critically

Performing with integrity


Organizational savvy









A Model for Professional Expertise

Taking Initiative

Technical Competence

Cognitive Abilities

Kelley, R. & Caplan.J. (1993). How Bell Labs Creates Star Performers. Harvard Business Review: July 1993

the new standards
The New Standards

Build and sustain professional relationships

Analyze, evaluate and interpret data

Engage in continuous learning

Communicate through persuasion and justification

Plan and manage a project

Create new knowledge

Seek global understanding

Mentor and develop others

Build a team

Initiative: The Holy Grail

Paper is available at


College graduates must come to the organizations as a STAR PERFORMER!

the new look for young professionals

The New Look for Young Professionals

The T Professional

IDEO’s terminology

Applicable to all education levels

the i professional going deep
The I Professional: Going Deep

Deep in at least one discipline

(analytic thinking & problem solving)

  • Claude Levi Strauss
    • Tinker vs. Engineer
    • Tinker redefines the means to do something
    • “Tinker Toys”
  • Judy Estrin CEO JLABS
    • Today’s best talent
      • Deep understanding (respect)
      • Breadth (communicate/boundaries)
      • Infectious excitement (passion)
      • Compulsive tinker (drive)
t shaped professionals both deep and broad

Boundary Crossing Competencies

communication, teamwork, perspective,

networks, critical thinking, organizational culture,

global understanding, project management, etc

Many disciplines

(understanding & communications)

Many systems

(understanding & communications)

Deep in at least one discipline

(analytic thinking & problem solving)

Deep in at least one system

(analytic thinking & problem solving)

T-Shaped Professionals(Both Deep and Broad)



Jim Spohrer, IBM Labs

the new starting job
The “New Starting Job”
  • Internships
  • Co-ops
  • Career-related employment
  • Other engagement: no longer equal
    • Preparatory experiences
employer expectations not what they used to be
Employer Expectations: “Not What They Used To Be!”

Yesterday’s Outcomes

areToday’s Intern Expectations

internship a high stakes event
Internship: A High Stakes Event
  • Definition of a HSE
  • Characteristics
    • Knowing what your interests are
    • Frequency
      • How do you gain practice?
    • Feedback
      • Reflection on practice
      • Reflection in practice
      • Timing: on going continual
    • Difficulty

“If I am learning, for instance, russian, I am confronted by an authoritative structure which commands my respect. The task is difficult and the goal is distant and perhaps never entirely attainable. My work is a progressive revelation of something which exists independently of me. Attention is rewarded by a knowledge of reality. Love of Russian leads me away from myself towards something alien to me, something which my consciousness cannot take over, swallow up, deny or make unreal.

Iris Murdoch

Sovereignty of Good

professional experience year
Professional Experience Year
  • Sandwiched between junior and senior year
  • 12 to 16 month assignment in workplace
  • Full-time
  • Paid
  • Boundary spanning takes 8 to 16 months in workplace to accomplish; traditional internship only learn to transition
  • Outcome
    • More mature
    • 20% starting salary premium
    • Job offer in-hand
think anew

Think Anew

“Structural Problems need structural solutions.”

Mohamed el-erian, CEO Pimco

joseph schumpeter
Joseph Schumpeter
  • On the expansion of higher education beyond labor market demand creates:
    • “employment in substandard work or at wages below those of the better-paid manual workers.”
    • “it may create unemployability of a particularly disconcerting type. The man who has gone through college or university easily becomes psychically unemployable in manual occupations without necessarily acquiring employability in, say, professional work.”
    • “…the ideal of making educational facilities of any type available to all who can be induced to use them. This ideal is so strongly held that any doubts about it are almost considered to nothing short of indecent….”
      • Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy 1942
education wars
Education Wars

Production Education

Knowledge Education

Passing exams

Meeting course deadlines

Disciplined study for sake of mastery of knowledge

Willingness to confirm to an organizational discipline

Develop the disposition needed to develop competence in a bureaucracy


Looking over rim at other disciplines

Cultivation of a different sort of self

Psychological and social aptitudes

Liberal arts have to be relevant

training versus doing
Training versus Doing
  • Two paths: liberal and servile
  • Move from production of goods to production of brands
  • Escalating demand for educational credentials
  • Degradation of work is ultimately a cognitive matter; rooted in separation of thinking and doing
    • Lawrence Katz
    • The Wheelwright
  • Creativity comes from disjunctive thinking and is a product of mastery that is cultivated through practice
one paradox
One Paradox

a surplus of resources &a shortage of critical skills

two questions
Two Questions
  • Do successful organizations recruit more proactively?OR
  • Are some organizations successful because they recruit more?
three required elements
Three Required Elements



Short-Term & Longer Range Needs



Focus on Critical Skills

action item 1
Action Item #1

Together, business, government and education must:

Make greater investments in science, technology, business, and design/creative education

Must insure that regardless of educational interest all young people possess the skills to contribute in the 21st century

action item 2
Action Item #2

Together, business and education must:

Enable and evolve to a culture that embracesand enables life-long learning

action item 3
Action Item #3

Together, everyone must address:

  • The significant shortage of skills required to create competitive advantage for many organizations;
  • Unique needs of the new/developing workforce;
  • Impact of the retirement of the “Baby Boom”;and
  • Need for greater diversity and inclusion in our education programs and workforce
    • Educational segregation
action item 4
Action Item #4

Together, we must:

align our investment in education, with;We have failed to do this – watch the community colleges

We do not mean vocational education (everyone cannot be a business major)

current and emergent employment needs, in order to many companies still can not articulate their needs

support economic development objectives, and there are none

return our economy to an environment of sustainable growth

less focus on immediate greed

more focus on long term prosperity, integration and sustainability

revisiting the gap
Revisiting the Gap

What employers say about college students?

Why are “we” so negative?

The science class: smart without a map

Gap widens faster than education want to adjust

Must set higher aspirations and provide a education framework to get there.