The Future: Without a Bachelor’s Degree

May 6, 2019 at 10:40 am Leave a comment

I have a new piece up at NBC News about employers who are starting to base more of their hiring on skills rather than whether an applicant has a bachelor’s degree. For a Hechinger Report series on the middle class, I spoke to a few workers without four-year degrees who’d gotten training in specific skills in order to find work in a particular industry for a decent wage.

One person I didn’t have room to include in the story was Sonia Dumoulin. But she represents the potential future of people who find their way into middle skill jobs without a bachelor’s degree.

Sonia knew college was not for her. She wanted to go to work without going into debt. So she went to a vo-tech high school, and every month she would spend two weeks working at Johnson & Johnson, helping to make medical components. She got a job at J&J after graduating from the vo-tech high school in 2005, but was laid off within the year. A J&J engineer helped her get her resume out, and she landed a job running computerized lathes at Accurounds, an advanced manufacturing company in the Boston suburbs that makes components for defense and other industries.

As Sonia gained experience at Accurounds, the economy crashed, flooding the job market with four-year degree holders. What little hiring employers did snatched up gobs of four-year degree holders.

Thirteen years after getting hired, Sonia still works at Accurounds. The company has invested in her professional development. She supervises dozens of people as a production supervisor. She has a three year old and another child on the way. She says one can make anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000 in her line of work.

“Life has changed,” says Sonia, who is still progressing at work without a bachelor’s degree. ”I’m proud of what I’ve become. That would be an understatement. It’s awesome.”

Sonia and Accurounds president and CEO Mike Tamasi let me get a look at Sonia’s workplace. Enjoy the pictures.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Transcript of talk from Lines Between Us event

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