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Study shows disconnect between job qualifications and education, as WTC tries to change trend

Drew Kelly

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A study of 387 metro areas across the country found a vast majority of people are working jobs that have less qualifications than the degrees they earned in college.

That’s specifically why Western Technical College students get training in the workforce while studying says president Roger Stanford.

“We want to have 100 percent of our programs tie work experience directly inside of their programs,” Stanford said. “Industry says they want to have experiences with our students while they’re learning.

“We only put on a course, a curriculum because it’s necessary for the majority of our employers.”

The Urban Institute study found that 87 percent of the population was working jobs that didn’t match their education.

“We’re directly tied to our partners and they come a minimum of twice a year to really look at what is the program doing, where is the program going,” Stanford said, adding that almost every course is tied to area employers.

Stanford also talked of how staying on top of when there are changes in the industry.

“I don’t think we probably have a single program that’s the saem from three years ago,” he said.

The study says it’s still valuable to get a degree but having experience in the job is being given added weight.

Stanford says universities as a whole are being forced to match their curriculum with the employment needs to remain attractive for students.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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