Educational alternatives to increase human capital

There are different ways to accumulate human capital, however, studies of higher education they offer the most concrete example of how further skills development leads to better working conditions. a major human capital, defined by the World Bank as the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate throughout their lives, increases the likelihood that people will have access to higher-paying, higher-quality jobs. This represents, in a sense, a toolbox that facilitates the construction of better opportunities and better working conditions.

Encourage more young people to obtain a University education It is and will be a great bet for Mexico. Only when going from a high school level to a high school level, informality is reduced by up to 50%, while the average income increases 67 percent. These economic benefits portend better future returns. There is no doubt: continuing to study is a good investment.

According to Population and Housing Census 2020in Mexico only two out of 10 people have higher education. What about the other eight people? Not all want and/or can access it. But university is not the only way to acquire quality skills to offer to the formal labor market. The educational system must offer different outlets for professional growth, in addition to a bachelor’s degree.

Technical careers, job training, as well as online courses and training, are other ways of talent development. The latter grew rapidly during the pandemic, a change that is here to stay. These educational alternatives have the advantage of being shorter and offering greater flexibility, characteristics that can be beneficial and compatible with the needs of young people, which were altered as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Organizations also need to recognize these continuing education alternatives, and do not penalize those who seek them, since many of them have the necessary certifications and are increasingly gaining prestige. Given the increase in demand in the labor market for skills related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM, for its acronym in English), educational alternatives have grown to meet it. A recent example is the Code Schools of the Mexico City governmentwhich in alliance with Google Mexico, offer a free certification to learn programming.

As a society it is necessary not to lose the focus of skills development and learning in order to build a competitive country, capable of retaining talent and investment. There are other educational options, besides college, that allow people to continue their education and gain skills to access better economic opportunities.

The challenge is to ensure that programs and training are of high quality. And even if they are not long-term, that they have the capacity to cover the necessary knowledge for the professional development. The context of economic recovery is an excellent opportunity to rethink and rethink both the educational offer and the demand for skills in the labor market. It would be a mistake to let her pass.

*The author is Coordinator of the Inclusive Society of IMCO (@fergarciaas)

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