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The role of education in San Diego: a slide show

May 31, 2013

With the next Craft Beer Debate right around the corner on June 6th at Stone World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station, I started reaching out to my friends in education to ask about the types of issues most relevant to this debate.  As it turns out, I am fortunate to know several smart people.  One of them shared the following slide presentation with me.  I found it most interesting that 56% of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education jobs DO NOT require 4-year degrees.  But have a look and arrive at your own conclusions…

My last post that followed this format was Craft Beer: San Diego’s Other Innovation Economy.  But for that one, I had more time to gather supporting facts.  This one is just the presentation, but it’s short and will give you plenty of ammunition to at least think about the role of education in San Diego’s future.  The Brookings Institute does quite a bit of research, see.  There’s a link at the end of the slides below for you to find even more.  I’ll move into the pros and cons of how San Diego is choosing to educate its students soon enough, but this seemed like an easy way to break in the topic.  Here goes

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The above slide seemed more interesting at first than when I thought about it.  Are we native San Diegans just under-educated?  Are we making our money without college?  I thought maybe this is because we have many residents who can earn a fine, honorable living serving our country who might not count in the official category of having a bachelor’s degree.  Or maybe that’s true of every major city because people who relocate to an entire new city tend to do so for a job that will pay them enough to get them to move.  I don’t know.  These are the type of thoughts I hope get answered over time and that we can exchange as we think about this information.

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The above seems like a dangerous statistic.  I mean, most people are pretty dumb when they are young.  Not that age makes us all smart, but it seems to me the less you feel connected to something the worse off you (and the innocent bystanders) tend to be.  Sprinkle the magic elixir of youth-induced bad decisions on that and “connecting our youth” doesn’t seem like a bad mission.

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I tried to find a quick explanation from research types why collecting data by race was important.  I didn’t find the good nugget I was hoping for.  The bottom line is that disparities across race exist even when you control for other factors so if we are going to try to create equal opportunities for young people it probably makes sense to keep working on this.  We aren’t all guaranteed the same size house, but we sure ought to live in a place where we all have the same chance to get as much as we want out of life, right?

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This slide seems really interesting in light of the Craft Beer Debate topic.  If we are to maximize our home grown talent, how are we best suited to do that?  And if we have large sections of young people who aren’t meeting this demand, what is the right solution?

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This slide really floored me.  I suppose it makes sense.  Especially in light of Jim Clifton’s talk at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Annual Dinner on May 29th.  He pointed out that health care is a HUGE industry, which may not be surprising.  But many of those jobs are allied health professionals, right?  Not requiring a full-blown admission to CSU or UC, but some education.  And with more boomers sliding into high-care age, maybe this whole healthcare thing could be useful for San Diego’s future.  Though, I guess we need to know how many people here will need that care and how many ‘seasoned’ people are moving here for their golden years.  If only I had a demographer on speed dial.  Alas.

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