What are States Doing to Recruit and Retain Employees with Cybersecurity Expertise

The threats and challenges continue to mount. Without an umbrella federal framework, government cyber experts work as best they can and with what they already have to address talent shortages and keep current with new methods of attack. Partnerships are critical in keeping abreast of the latest threats, and a future-looking mindset is necessary to create a pipeline of talent at the state and local level.

Cyberattacks have become more concrete to many of us in recent years. More citizens have received communications from governmental entities or companies about possible illicit access of our personal information—and then there are the allegations of the presidential election being influenced through sharing of hacked information.


America Must Transform Education to Serve the Needs of Individual Students

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered keynote remarks to the American Federation for Children's National Policy Summit. The Secretary introduced the school choice plan, urging state leaders to invest in individual students and empower parents, while outlining the intent to support state-based solutions.

"If you hear nothing else I say tonight, please hear this – education should not be a partisan issue. Sure, various approaches to education policy should be hotly debated, and they certainly are. "But, making sure that all of our kids get a great education – how could it be a partisan issue? Everyone – in both parties – should support equal opportunity in education, regardless of a child's income, zip code or family circumstances.

"The time has expired for 'reform'. We need a transformation – a transformation that will open up America's closed and antiquated education system.


Next Generation Cybersecurity Training Platform Addresses Critical Skills Shortfall

Fully immersive, artificial intelligence (AI) powered, next generation cybersecurity training platform.

 

Project Ares™ provides cybersecurity professionals and students the means to practice skills and hone tactics through a real-time online training platform. Designed for commercial, government, and academic customers, Project Ares deploys realistic, skill-specific virtual environments with real-world tools, network activity, and a library of mission scenarios. Game-based learning provides immediate feedback in an engaging, safe atmosphere where trainees can solve relevant problems without consequence.


ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS INDUSTRY WORKFORCE UPDATE

Electronic systems could include just about anything that plugs in or has batteries. There are electronic systems in automobiles and aircraft, and even spacecraft. But in general the term is applied to low voltage systems and subsystems installed in buildings. Not to be confused with the work done by electricians, this includes low-voltage technologies such as audio, video, control systems, security and surveillance, and the infrastructure that supports these systems – copper, fiber optic, and wireless. Much of the same technology is applied to both residential and commercial projects, but used differently depending on the application. The companies who design and install these complex systems are essentially integrating several subsystems into one, so you will often see them referred to as systems integrators. The personnel who install, service, and upgrade these systems in the field are known as Electronic Systems Technicians (ESTs).

Electronic Systems Professional Alliance

Raising the Bar: State Strategies for Developing and Approving High-Quality Career Pathways

This report from Advance CTE examines successes in Tennessee, New Jersey and Delaware to demonstrate how states can use the career pathways approval process to raise the level of quality across the board.

Examples of strong programs of study — and career pathways, more broadly — exist in every state. Yet all too often these career pathways are islands of excellence, setting the bar for quality, but requiring further state action to ensure all students can benefit from strong career pathways. While the approach to developing career pathways varies across the nation, state leaders can play a role in promoting quality by leveraging policy, programs and resources to ensure all career pathways meet minimum standards.

 

Raising The Bar

"Going Pro" in Michigan. State Agency's Join Resources to Promote CTE and Fill the Skills Gap

“Going PRO” is a Michigan campaign designed to elevate the perception of professional trades and to showcase opportunities in a variety of rewarding careers.

A sizable professional trades shortage exists in Michigan and is expected to continue through 2024. Professional trades will account for more than 500,000 jobs in the Michigan economy, and approximately 15,000 new job openings are expected annually in the state during that time.

Wages for professional trades occupations is 45 percent higher than other occupations – $51,000 is the median annual salary for these jobs!

Opportunities exist in a variety of emerging industries including IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, construction and automotive. And many of the career fields do not require a four-year degree.

Go Pro Michigan

Work in the Automation Age: Sustainable Careers Today and Into the Future

80% of manufacturers report a shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions, and the shortage could cost U.S. manufacturers 11% of their annual earnings. Manufacturing executives reported an average of 94 days to recruit engineering and research employees and 70 days to recruit skilled production workers. The skills gap is driving up what are already above average wages and benefits in U.S. manufacturing. Studies show an increasing skills gap with as many as two million jobs going unfilled in the manufacturing industry alone in the next decade.

The Association for Advancing Automation (http://www.a3automate.org) (A3) explores the impact of automation on the ever-evolving job market and the growing shortage of skilled employees with experience and training in advanced technologies. A3 examines the types of jobs that are going unfilled and reviews workforce development initiatives, including education, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training that will fill labor shortages and support ongoing economic growth and productivity. http://www.a3automate.org/work-in-the-automation-age-white-paper/

Working in the Automation Age

Makin' the MAKERSPACE

There is tremendous buzz lately about setting up a makerspace. Thankfully, educators, policy makers (for some reason they are not always one and the same?) administrators and the education community in general are realizing that in order to really cultivate metacognition and real-world skills, we need hands-on, project-based learning. Object-based learning is making a comeback, and teachers are connecting lessons back to the industry, creating a more vocational education. A big part of this movement towards active learning and STEM is creating a makerspace in the classroom.

Gittel Grant

States Want More Career and Technical Training, but Struggle to Find Teachers

Many Minnesota employers say they can’t find skilled workers with the right career training. Meanwhile, high schools are cutting career and technical education courses because they can’t find qualified teachers. “The jobs are there, and we’re not preparing our kids well enough to get into those jobs because the system has not allowed us to,” said Stephen Jones, the superintendent of schools in Little Falls, Minnesota. His district hasn’t had to cancel any courses for lack of instructors, but he says smaller districts in the state have.

Two-thirds of states are currently reporting a shortage of CTE teachers in at least one specialty, according to a Stateline analysis of federal data. Many states, such as Minnesota and South Dakota, have had a shortage of CTE teachers for a decade. Some states, such as Maine, Maryland and New York, have had a shortage for almost 20 years.

A Letter From Students: "Make STEM Education Count"

As juniors in high school, we are concerned about our future. Since we have started high school, we have taken on challenging classes in an effort to prepare ourselves for higher education. We all started taking high school level classes in middle school in preparation to take college classes that we are currently enrolled in as high school students.

Our high school requires more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses to graduate than what Idaho currently requires for graduation. We have spent hours preparing for and taking standardized tests including ISATs, civics exam, biology EOC (End of Course) assessment, and college entrance exams. In addition to all of our academic endeavors, we have all participated in community service activities and extracurriculars. Our class dreams big, and we are not afraid to put forth the extra effort to achieve those dreams.


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