Sometimes life doesn’t turn out as expected. That’s what happened during the financial crisis of 2008–2009 to me and millions of others around the world. The job market quickly soured; well-paying employment evaporated. Stress from the crisis caused many sleepless nights. I worried about how I would support my family.
As the crisis unfolded, my wife Johanna and I had to use some of our retirement savings to pay for necessities. We were among the fortunate. However, for many people displaced from rewarding careers, underemployment became more than just an economic term. Working in minimum-wage roles became a way of life for many people. They were trapped.
While the global economy has rebounded, underemployment remains a problem, especially for young people and workers nearing retirement age. Defined as the underuse of an employed worker’s skills and training, underemployment is insidious.
According to Statista, a leading statistics company, as recently as 2011 the global underemployment rate was 17 percent of the total workforce. The International Labour Organization said in a recent report a shortage of “decent jobs” has swelled the number of working-age people who have dropped out of the labor market to more than two billion.
In a January 2016 blog post, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said 45 percent of students who graduated from post-secondary education between 2009 and 2013 were working in “non-college jobs.” Almost 20 percent earned less than $25,000 a year.
At ODEM.IO we aim to use blockchain technology to turn back the tide of underemployment.
Our On-Demand Education Marketplace will provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional forms of higher learning for students, whether recently graduated or seeking continuing education. Our team aims to give students the tools to customize their education through direct collaboration with top college professors.
On the ODEM.IO platform, higher learning is achieved through bite-sized education opportunities that are more affordable and relevant for people who are struggling to get ahead and may be unable to commit to a four-year degree program.
While online education has become increasingly popular, we believe in-person training is better suited to arming students with the communication and critical-thinking skills demanded by employers in today’s fast-changing job markets.
Solving underemployment and other issues plaguing education is a passion for us.
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