How this recession is different by Cathy Sandeen

You did everything right. You worked hard, went to school, and earned your degrees and professional certifications. You interned, networked, interviewed, and got a great job. You built a career in a secure field, earning a good salary along the way. Then the unforeseen happened. The “Great Recession” hit and you found yourself unemployed for the first time. What do you do?

Unfortunately, this scenario is fact, not fiction, and it has played out again and again for well over a year. This recession is unlike most others. In the past, high salaried, “white collar” professionals have been spared massive workforce reductions. Not this time. Whole swaths of professional positions no longer exist.

This graphic from The Big Picture blog, helps tell the story.

Here’s another visual representation of job shifts along with personal stories from the Wall Street Journal.

This reduction in the professional sector affects us all. At risk of oversimplifying the economic impact, high salaried individuals tend to make big ticket purchases that fuel the important consumer spending side of the economic equation.

Fortunately, there may be a silver lining to this cloud. Large amounts of stimulus funding (through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) are now available to help unemployed Americans retool and retrain. I am happy to say, UCLA Extension is ready to play a big role.

recovery.gov

Thirty-three of our professional certificate programs in high demand fields are now approved for such funding. Eligible individuals may receive funding for the entire cost of their certificate program, including books and materials. The Los Angeles Times featured this program in a recent article.

We are one of the few education providers with extensive expertise in serving the professional segment of our workforce. UCLA Extension provides accessible, flexible, rigorous, and employer-recognized programs that help individuals move into new fields and jobs quickly.

 More information here. 

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