La EBC combate el desempleo juvenil en América Latina | D2L
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La EBC combate el desempleo juvenil en América Latina

  • 5 Min para leer

La Educación Basada en Competencias puede ser de ayuda para las instituciones educativas y hacer que sus alumnos y egresados tengan una ventaja competitiva en un mercado laboral cada vez más complejo.

En toda América Latina son más de 2 millones los alumnos que se reciben por año de instituciones de nivel superior. Pero la triste realidad es que gran parte de ellos tendrán dificultades para encontrar trabajo y pasarán a engrosar la cifra de desempleo regional.

La crisis y los procesos de selección de personal cada vez más exigentes hacen que los recién graduados tengan una barrera de entrada al mercado muy elevada y que vean el momento de la graduación como un punto de preocupación. Esta realidad requiere que las casas de altos estudios innoven en cómo forman a esos futuros profesionales y los preparen para los desafíos a los que se enfrentarán.

En este artículo les mostraremos cómo implementar programas de Educación Basada en Competencias puede ser un paso en la dirección correcta, haciendo que la institución pueda ofrecer a sus alumnos las capacidades que el mundo requiere para tener éxito, hoy y mañana.

Las tasas de desempleo preocupan a los jóvenes de toda América Latina

Ante la coyuntura económica a la que se enfrenta la región, el mercado laboral se torna cada vez más competitivo y diferenciarse del resto resulta cada vez más importante. Y esa es una tendencia general. Según el informe de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, la región tiene una tasa de desempleo juvenil del 16,8 %5, la más alta del mundo.

Argentina es uno de los países con mayor desempleo: el 19,8 % de los jóvenes de menos de 29 años no tiene empleo6. En Brasil, la tasa de desocupación entre jóvenes de 18 a 24 años fue del 16 % en 2015. Y, según índices parciales más recientes7, el 33,4 % de los desempleados brasileños están en esa franja de edad. En México, donde el desempleo es relativamente bajo comparado con otros países de la región, la tasa de desempleo de jóvenes entre 15 y 24 años a febrero de este año se ubicaba en el 8,4 %, el doble del promedio nacional de 4,1 %8.

Si bien no toda la población económicamente activa de ese rango etario califica como recién recibida, los especialistas toman en consideración los años de estudio e identifican tendencias preocupantes que muestran un aumento en los últimos años de la desocupación de jóvenes profesionales, lo que puede ser un atraso importante para toda una generación.

Debemos formar profesionales que estén preparados para enfrentarse a la nueva realidad del mercado laboral

Es lógico que en tiempos de crisis económicas las empresas apliquen ajustes. Ese es uno de las principales motivos detrás de los altos índices de desempleo juvenil en la región. Otro de los motivos es la falta de confianza que muchos empleadores manifiestan sobre la formación académica de los postulantes. Es por eso que es cada vez más importante que las instituciones de nivel superior ofrezcan a sus alumnos las habilidades necesarias para que se destaquen en el mercado laboral. En definitiva, no podemos considerar que la falta de empleo es un problema cuando existen puestos vacantes para jóvenes profesionales en toda la región.

Según una encuesta realizada en 2013 por McKinsey & Company9 en 9 países en desarrollo, las grandes empresas tenían 32 vacantes para jóvenes profesionales sin llenar en Brasil y 24 en México. Para el 48 % de los empleadores brasileños y el 40 % de los mexicanos, la razón principal era la falta de aptitud de los recién recibidos. Es decir, no es que falten puestos de trabajo, lo que faltan son buenos candidatos.

Lo más preocupante es que las instituciones educativas se mantienen ajenas a esa realidad. Un tercio de los representantes entrevistados no sabía cuántos de sus graduados conseguían trabajo. Y los que se aventuraron a arrojar una cifra, estuvieron lejos de acertar: el 74 % de las instituciones informó que la mayoría de sus graduados consiguió trabajo dentro de los primeros 3 meses, o menos, cuando en realidad solo el 54 % de los jóvenes profesionales manifiesta haber conseguido empleo en ese tiempo.

La coyuntura económica y social puede haber cambiado en  los últimos 3 años, pero los encargados de las instituciones de enseñanza superior no pueden ignorar este problema de percepción. A fin de cuentas, en tiempos de crisis resulta incluso más importante priorizar la inserción laboral de los alumnos.

Cómo la Educación Basada en Competencias puede ayudar a que sus alumnos se diferencien en el mercado

Algunas instituciones ya tienen iniciativas como prácticas profesionales y acuerdos con empresas, pero la implementación de programas de Educación Basada en Competencias también puede ser de gran utilidad para preparar a los alumnos para la realidad del mercado laboral. El modelo, justamente, está pensado para que los alumnos se focalicen en dominar habilidades profesionales prácticas. Y lo mejor es que no es necesario realizar grandes modificaciones a los programas de estudio. Se puede basar todo un programa según pautas de EBC o utilizarlas como complemento para los planes existentes.

Consulte algunas de las características de la Educación Basada en Competencias que pueden ser de gran utilidad en la formación profesional y algunos ejemplos de cómo implementarlas en la práctica:

Ritmo individualizado. Como lo que realmente se mide es lo que se aprende y no el tiempo dedicado al estudio, el alumno puede armar su propio camino de capacitación profesional, sin sentirse presionado ni desmotivado por el ritmo del resto del grupo. Esta característica también puede ser muy útil para resolver necesidades urgentes, como la preparación de un programa de capacitación en áreas determinadas.

Posibilidad de especialización. También se puede adaptar el contenido que va a estudiar cada alumno durante su ruta de aprendizaje. Es decir, es posible definir áreas de foco dentro de una carrera o, incluso, cumplir los requisitos de una especialidad profesional.

Adaptación al conocimiento del alumno. Se pueden dar créditos por conocimiento preexistentes. Por ejemplo, si un alumno ya realizó una pasantía en un área determinada, no es necesario que pierda tiempo con conceptos que ya domina y puede dedicarse a lo que realmente precisa aprender.

Conozca casos de éxito de instituciones que están utilizando Educación Basada en Competencias para la formación profesional de sus alumnos.

 

1 http://www.mineducacion.gov.co/sistemasdeinformacion/1735/articles-212350_Estadisticas_de_Educacion_Superior_.pdf

2 http://portales.educacion.gov.ar/spu/investigacion-y-estadisticas/anuarios/

3 http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_513739.pdf

4 http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/pesquisas/pesquisas.php

5 https://www.oecd.org/fr/mexique/Employment-Outlook-Mexico-ES.pdf

6 http://mckinsey.com.br/Data/E2E%20-%20portugues%20final.pdf

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Fueling up:

Upskilling to grow careers

Name: Zaria
Age: 27

Policy prescriptions: Invest in a Learning-Integrated Life; Transform the learning of today with new partnerships; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Zaria has five years of work experience and is ready to change jobs and enter a field that has high growth potential in her region. The national government has been investing in collecting better skills-based labour market information for years and has developed a public platform to offer individuals specialized tools to assess their skills against current market needs, and to locate employers that are currently hiring.

On the employer side, the human resources team is closely examining a recent internal skills audit done at their organization and determines that the organization needs additional digital marketing specialists. They initiate a search for individuals with the skills they will soon need and spot a strong candidate in Zaria who requires only light training on regulatory issues regarding the sale of electric vehicles, along with some formal skills development courses on social media marketing strategy. After a successful interview, Zaria is offered the job.

Upon joining, Zaria will receive an educational benefits stipend from the company, and access to a company-provided platform of curated programs for skills building from approved providers. Upon completion of a set of courses, Zaria will receive a credential from a company approved program verifying her technical knowledge and marking the end of her probationary period at the company. To ensure she continues to build her skills, she will move into a formal mentor program with one of her colleagues to receive continual peer-to-peer feedback on her demonstration of skills and knowledge. information

This affordable and accessible learning through employer-funded training has enabled Zaria to begin working while also upskilling to ensure her long-term success in the company and growing industry. The employer is investing in its employees, and company leaders are thinking further into the future about the skills the company needs, and the types of job candidates who will succeed. This match, based on skills potential, was made possible because of government investment in high-quality labour market information and a national platform that matches job candidates with career opportunities based on the candidates’ skills and the identified skill needs of a given job.

Taking the road less travelled:

A networked postsecondary education

Name: Sam
Age: 18

Policy prescriptions: Transform the learning of today with new partnerships

Sam is a prospective postsecondary student who has always been interested in pursuing a global and interdisciplinary education. Sam’s siblings have all instilled in her the importance of studying abroad, having spoken fondly of their academic exchange semesters, field research trips, and intensive language immersion programs. She is inspired, but unsure whether this pathway will be available if she chooses not to complete a four-year degree at one institution.

Sam is interested in understanding how emerging technologies can be used to modernize and improve government services—an area in need of talent not only in her home country of Canada but also abroad. She could take on a general political science, public administration, engineering, or computer science degree at the university close to her home, but none of those degrees feels like the right fit to build the skills she needs to pursue this career interest.

While researching options, Sam learns of a new degree completion pathway that allows students to take courses from a network of universities, colleges, and polytechnic institutions throughout Canada and stack them for skills-based  credentials that are recognized by major Canadian employers. A set of four of these credentials grants an individual a degree-equivalent endorsed by each institution. Sam identifies the skills and knowledge she wants to work towards and charts out four credential pathways:

  1. Service delivery design
  2. Change management
  3. Applications of emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence)
  4. Machinery of government

With this customized learning pathway, Sam has full flexibility to decide how she wants to structure her courses, the institutions within the network she will study at, and the format and model of courses she prefers—whether live in-class instruction or online courses.

Cost flexibility is built in as well—students pay a standard fee based on the number of competencies they intend to learn rather than the normal standard of ‘credit hours’. The province in which Sam lives has endorsed this networked model of  postsecondary education and adjusted its financial assistance program to better support students. Grants and other non-repayable assistance take into consideration the number of courses the student is taking across all institutions when assessing financial need. Previously, Sam would have been required to be a full-time student at every institution to receive support.

Sam also has the option of starting with foundational courses or applying for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) information so her existing knowledge and skills can be tested and she can move on to more advanced topics.

Sam completes her first three credentials in three years and uses her certifications to apply for a one-year work-integrated learning experience with the federal government in Germany where she can learn first-hand about the applications of artificial intelligence in government. When she returns home, she applies for PLAR to certify her learning on the machinery of government and is granted a degree acknowledging her four-part customized education.

The collaboration between universities, polytechnics, and colleges to create a networked approach to degree completion, and its endorsement by the provincial government, allowed Sam to graduate as an alumnus of multiple postsecondary education institutions. Her exposure to different thought spaces and networks was highly valuable for ensuring she was engaged throughout her education and set up for post-graduation success. In the rapidly evolving field she has chosen, she understands how important it is to continuously upskill, and is prepared to return to formal education for more stackable credentials as she continues throughout her career.

Route guidance:

Personalized professional development

Name: ZheYuan
Age: 33

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

ZheYuan is about to join Marama’s school as a new secondary school teacher. He completed his professional teacher education a decade ago, and teaching looks a bit different today than it did when he was studying. With the incorporation of learning technologies in the classroom, and expectations of teachers delivering competency-based education information, he needs personalized professional development to feel comfortable and supported in this new opportunity.

The school district has been on its own learning journey since shifting to a competency-based education model, and has had some growing pains. Over time, the district has come to recognize that success depends on school administrators working closely with teachers to co-create systems of instruction, and pathways to professional development. The district has its own online learning management system (LMS) for teacher professional development, with a catalogue of content covering a range of subjects including:

  • Strategies for student-centred instruction
  • Design thinking—how to prototype and iterate on solutions to test new approaches
  • Online content—using learning management systems to advance competency-based education
  • Data analysis—interpreting student progress

ZheYuan is excited that he can take on professional learning to suit his needs on his own schedule. He recalls an earlier time when he had to spend nine hours a month in-person taking the same professional development courses as his peers who were teaching very different subjects and had varied skill levels and pedagogical needs than him, which was less than effective.

ZheYuan can also take advantage of his teacher community in the LMS, connecting both in asynchronous chats and in live discussions with other teachers and experts from across his region to ask questions and share his experiences. He sees some upcoming dialogues hosted by his school district to share learnings and signs up for those sessions, knowing he will get a valuable peer perspective from other teachers. ZheYuan is thankful that his school leaders recognize and value professional learning and provide the supports and the time needed for improvement.

D2L Whitepaper Contributors

Lead Authors:
Malika Asthana, Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs
Joe Pickerill, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, International

Contributors:
Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer
Mark Schneiderman, Senior Director, Future of Teaching and Learning
Brendan Desetti, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, United States
Mike Semansky, Senior Director, Strategy and Public Affairs, Canada
Nia Brown, Senior Manager, Strategy and Public Affairs

In the driver’s seat:

Owning the personalized learning journey

Name: Marama
Age: 14

Policy prescriptions: Prepare teachers for their own lifelong learning journeys; Accelerate the shift to skills-based learning and hiring

Marama is enrolled in a school with a competency-based education model information. Students are responsible for owning the personalization of their learning pathways, making choices alongside their teachers in how and when they learn.iii Teachers play a central role in guiding and validating all learning, regardless of where it takes place—offering formative assessments to evaluate a student’s mastery of skills and knowledge. Teachers use data from these assessments, gathered through an online learning management system (LMS), to differentiate instruction and provide targeted supports so that all students progress toward graduation. As a student diagnosed with a learning disability, Marama is supported in her education by this personalized learning pathway.

All students complete an assessment in ninth grade to identify their natural strengths as a learner. Their teachers use the results as inputs to design tailormade educational pathways with learning materials and activities that suit the individual students’ learning needs. In Marama’s case, this includes:

  1. Supplementing lecture-based teaching with structured but independent reading
  2. Shadowing professionals who work on the concepts she is learning about
  3. Taking the stories and lessons she’s learned and sharing it back with classmates by designing a creative and interactive presentation

Over the course of the school year, Marama spends a third of her time in live lectures (sometimes online) with her teacher alongside other classmates—but the rest of her time is spent learning in the ways that suit her best. She can log into her online LMS from her mobile device to access her school resources and complete on her own schedule before the assigned deadline. When Marama finds a concept that interests her, she can ask her teachers and counsellor for support in finding a working professional to speak to, or work alongside for a couple weeks, from the network her school has curated over time. And when she has learned something, she is encouraged to reinforce her learning by applying her skills and developing content to share back with her classmates.

Marama’s personalized learning journey empowers her to own her education by learning in ways that are effective for her, with the support that allows her to be successful. Her teachers have high-quality data about student strengths and performance they can share with her parents to show them how she is mastering specific skills, and where she may need extra support. Her school experience empowers her to embrace her subject interests very early on, and she advances to deeper topics quickly as she submits evidence of learning that demonstrates her proficiency. She graduates having cultivated a mindset for self-directed learning early in her education.