Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Expand Apprenticeships

It would be both honest and helpful to expand the concept of apprenticeship.

Many blue collar jobs have apprenticeships. Doctors go through internships. Part of the reasoning is that a period of "hands-on" experience is needed in order to gain a level of expertise.

Why not extend this to other jobs? Doing so would recognize that entry-level positions should indeed be learning experiences that, while not paid well, are designed for learning. It would avoid the "entry-level position, five years experience required" nonsense that you sometimes see in ads and convey a clearer view of employee development.

Such clarification would benefit those on both sides of the desk in employment interviews.


Wally Bock said...

Great post, Michael. For years I've been trumpeting the idea that leadership is an apprentice trade and that we ought to structure our leadership development accordingly. But you've gone beyond that. In today's knowledge economy, many kinds of work would be better learned using an apprenticeship model.

Michael Wade said...


It really makes sense. I also like Charles Murray's idea of breaking college down into various certifications so individuals would not have to get a degree in order to present credentials to an employer.