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How an Individual Positions Themselves for Marketability

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How an Individual Positions Themselves for Marketability

With an unstable business environment and competitive job market individuals are finding it more difficult to acquire or maintain a way of life they have been accustomed to. Unfortunately this change is occurring faster than society would like to believe or can keep up with. The days of working for one company until retirement is one of rarity. Technological advancements, global competition, lack of leadership and foresight all play a part in the instability of the job market. Company mergers, acquisitions, reorganization, hostile takeovers, and just going out of business can happen regardless of tenure, or years of service. Individuals who lack a degree will find themselves at a disadvantage if ever unemployed or looking for a promotion. With a growing rate of unemployment, and need for skilled labor, employers are more selective in their choice of potential candidates and may overlook a qualified individual for one that possesses a degree. Although this practice may seem unjust or short sighted, it happens everyday. How an individual accepts this reality and positions themselves for future marketability is the focus of this argument.

According to The Principles of Economics by N. Gregory Mankiw, Harvard University, Thomson South Western publishing 2004, many studies have documented that the earnings gap between workers with high skills and workers with low skills has increased over the past two decades. A man with a college degree can earn up to 89% more than one without, for woman the figure is about 70%. The incentive to stay in school is as great today as it has ever been. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s students could graduate from high school with a promising future and many joined the labor force without attending college. Unfortunately as the market changes and the need for skilled labor increases, many adult workers are now faced with a decision. More and more high school students are moving on to college and the labor pool is becoming more skilled and competitive. Although years of experience can be used to combat this reality, many employers do not grant an interview unless a degree is present. If an individual becomes unemployed or would like to be considered for a promotion the percentage of success is rapidly decreasing.

There are programs available for the working or unemployed adult. Many college institutions have recognized this phenomenon and have developed programs to meet the needs of adult students.
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