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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

In today's competitive job market it's nearly impossible to find a job without a postsecondary credential or degree. For example, there have been 11.6 million jobs created since the 2008 economic recession, and an overwhelming majority of these jobs " 11.5 million " have gone to workers with at least some postsecondary education.1
The unemployment rate for youth and young adults, ages 16-to-24-years-old, is double that of the national unemployment rate. This high level of unemployed or underemployed youth is an epidemic that is affecting an entire generation. This is not the only problem affecting the job market. Employers are having a hard time finding the right candidates to fill their positions. The Rockefeller Foundation Study, "The State of Entry-Level Employment in the U.S.," shows that 43 percent of employers consider sourcing candidates as one of their biggest challenges.
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The perception of online education is changing. Seen for many years as the poor relation of brick-and-mortar institutions, online education is rapidly gaining respect. According to the 2013 Survey of Online Learning, perceptions of online education dramatically changed during the previous decade. Indeed, the proportion of academic leaders rating online courses as offering the same or superior learning outcomes as face-to-face tuition has now risen from 57 percent to 74 percent.
When you are looking to fill a position in your company, what criteria do you use to inform your hiring decisions? If you set requirements that are too exacting, such as requiring a specific degree or a certain number of years' experience, you could exclude some candidates who could have been a great fit for your organization. Let's take a look at the benefits of looking at potential rather than credentials when hiring new employees.
As workforce investment boards, youth organizations, and staffing companies look to provide job seekers with training in in-demand careers, one occupation that has been emerging recently is virtual assistant. As a whole, the market for administrative assistance is expected to reach over 2 million positions by 2024, creating over 300,000 new jobs.1 With today's digital world making it commonplace to work remotely, and may small and medium size businesses looking to outsource certain administrative functions, expect many of these new positions to be filled by Virtual Assistance. Likewise, one report estimated the total market for online working, which includes virtual assistants, will eclipse $5 billion by 2018.2
Entry-level job seekers are frequently struggling with in-person interviews. The cognitive skills they learned throughout their education may get them in front of a hiring manager, but employers are also demanding soft skills. Both parties end up wasting time and resources due to these mismatches, but there are ways to close this loop.
With the advent of increased automation and high-tech manufacturing tools, revolutionary ways of doing work have begun to bridge the collegiate and blue collar divide. Plant managers and manufacturing business owners need workers with specific skills to fill integral positions. Consequently, employers are becoming increasingly focused on training their current staff to fill these roles and urging candidates to take courses that certify them for modern, tech-heavy work. 
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Blended learning is the combination of traditional classroom education and digital elements, such as interactive applications on a laptop or online homework and reading. Many schools are embracing technology to promote learning. One area where technology performs particularly well is improving English language learner and low-income student outcomes.

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