San Marcos Supplying Region with a Future-ready Workforce
When you were a child, what did you want to be? Whatever it was, it’s probably still a viable career. But that’s not necessarily true for children today.
Robots could replace nearly a third of the nation’s workforce by 2030, according to research by McKinsey Global Institute. And the World Economic Forum predicts that 65 percent of elementary students will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet.
As North County’s education hub, San Marcos plays a major role in supplying the region with a workforce that’s ready to adapt to these changing tides.
“San Marcos serves the most higher education students in North San Diego County, making this community a crucial talent pipeline” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster. “And that workforce will be ready for the future thanks to our educational leaders.”
Case in point: The San Marcos Promise (the Promise), which provides scholarships and resources to students in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD), is sharpening its focus on 21st century work skills.
“Tomorrow’s workforce will need higher cognitive skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and collaboration,” said Lisa Stout, The Promise Programs Coordinator. That jibes with McKinsey research that predicts demand for those skills will grow 19 percent through 2030.
“The path to modern success won’t look the same for everyone, nor should it,” Stout added. “Many future professions won’t call for a traditional four-year degree.”
Palomar College tracks job trends and, as a result, has added future-focused programs in drone technology and cybersecurity.
“Advanced manufacturing is another big opportunity on the horizon, but these aren’t the factory jobs of the past,” said Nichol Roe, Palomar College’s Associate Dean of Workforce Development and Extended Studies. “They are highly technical, and involve 3D printing, automation and software solutions.”
“As technology advances, learning new skills on the job will be imperative ,” added Jill Litschewski, Director of the Office of Internships and Service Learning at Cal State San Marcos. “However, it will be equally important for students to also improvise solutions.”
CSUSM’s Senior Experience Program lets students do that by collaborating with business owners to tackle real-world projects. Often the work has a 21st century focus. For example, some students recently helped test drone technology that could change how we fight wildfires.
“Programs like this underscore how much we need our businesses to be a part of workforce development,” Sangster said. “The City is committed to supporting these efforts because when we all invest in workforce development, it benefits our community’s overall economic health.”
To learn more about San Marcos’ economic development division, or about how you can help local students, contact Tess Sangster at TSangster@san-marcos.net or (760) 744-1050, ext. 3120.
About California State University San Marcos
Building on an innovative 27-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.
The University enrolls 17,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.