Where John Kasich Is Wrong About Job Preparation


In last night’s CNN GOP Town Hall meeting, John Kasich had some advice for young people preparing for the work force.  Here is what he said:

And one final thing: workforce development.  We have got to begin to teach our kids in K through 12 and also in the community college and the four-year schools to be getting an education for a job that exists.  Don’t get educated in a vacuum.  Make sure you know what you want to do, and look for an education that can lead you to a real job.

Kasich could not be more wrong here.  Here was what I tweeted last night:

For a candidate who talks so much about community, moral philosophy, social healing, and what it means to be human, Kasich has bought into the rhetoric of vocational training often associated with advocates of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and politicians such as Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Barack Obama, and Jeb Bush.

Kasich misses what most career professionals have been saying and writing about for more than a decade.  Namely, many of today’s students will one day work at jobs that do not yet exist. Students–especially college students–are better off training broadly and generally in the liberal arts and the humanities.  This will allow them to obtain the skills needed to adjust and adapt toa  constantly changing marketplace.

My tweet solicited a few responses along these lines:






One thought on “Where John Kasich Is Wrong About Job Preparation

  1. I agree with your assessment with a couple of caveats that seems to often be missing from the two sides of this issue. You actually bring the first one up regularly, we need a more broad liberal education but we must also prepare students and show them how the skills they develop as say an historian can prepare them for a variety of fields.

    The other issue I see relates to a post from a few days ago.

    “This year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, discussed the top ten skills that will be needed for careers in 2020:

    Complex problem solving
    Critical thinking
    People management
    Coordinating with others
    Emotional intelligence
    Judgment and decision making
    Service orientation
    Cognitive flexibility”

    It seems that employers most often look/hope for these skills to be found in people that have received a more technical/STEM degree instead of looking for someone that has the above skills and then train them in the technical.


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