Are the times really “a’changin?”

By: Randy Ataide

In 1964, a young Bob Dylan captured the essence of our national turmoil in a groundbreaking ballad chronicling the passing of the political, cultural and social order. His warning was to all who would hear, both powerful and powerless:

“If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.”

 Early this morning I read one more article about the difficulty in finding career path work for young college graduates. While a significant problem in the U.S., in Europe this is an unfolding disaster with implications that will be felt by all for decades. In these bastions of employee protections built up over decades of social policy engineering, they have a system of low paid internships available to hordes of college graduates, with resulting permanent employment for few. Place this in a non-entrepreneurial culture and you have a disaster for youth unemployment (even for college graduates), that ranges from 25-50% throughout both northern and southern Europe. The misalignment of college courses and skills to the marketplace continues to grow.


At the Fermanian School of Business, we are in the midst of major curriculum reform which will lead to the undergraduate degrees PLNU grants. (Some MBA changes are also in the works.) These are welcome and overdue steps, but even with these reforms it is very difficult to bring new and relevant topics from the marketplace to our students, alums and constituents.

With this context in mind, I am pleased that after years of discussion, PLNU is moving into the realm of executive education in rapid, affordable and flexible programs on a recurring basis. On January 25-26, 2013, at the Liberty Station Conference Center we will launch a professional certificate program in Negotiation and Value Creation: Techniques for the Business Practitioner. We hear from many graduates that the ability to negotiate successfully is a key skill that we don’t have adequate course offerings.  And in the summer and fall of 2013, look for additional certificates in a variety of potential topics including real estate practices, social media marketing, business economics, entrepreneurship and others.
Check to learn more or register.

There are many things I enjoy in Europe—the coffee, cafes, history, and culture are wonderful. But the ‘disconnect’ between education, skills and employment market is something we need to avoid. We believe that these additional professional development products can bring to our constituents help to overcome the difficult times and trends we are in the midst of. “The times may be a’changin” but you can do something about it. Perhaps you need to consider joining us in January to help negotiate and successfully navigate your future!

NegotiationsSkillsLeaders.2011.Leadershipmissinglink.January 30,2013


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