The current employment picture is quite interesting. The official statistics say we've got a great jobs market. According to one economist:
"Not only are the labor markets stronger today than at any point in the past 20 years, but we are beginning to see the start of broad-based wage growth," Rick Rieder, chief investment officer for fundamental fixed income at BlackRock, said in a client note.
But many Americans disagree - especially recent college grads and young adults who are struggling to find work.
The problem is a mismatch between job skills and job openings.
Corporation report increasing problems finding qualified people. According to a recent survey by the employment consulting group Manpower, companies are facing a "crippling talent shortage".
At the same time, many people report being unable to find work. Add in a growing reluctance by corporations to train their staff and the mismatch becomes even clearer.
In response to this problem a rapidly growing industry focused on providing skills training and job placement has emerged.
A good example is General Assembly, which teaches technology, design and business skills through a variety of part-time and full-time courses. Below is a description of their web development immersive course from their website.
Another example is Korfu, which teaches recent and soon to be college grads basic business skills.
Programs at Korfu and General Assembly aren't cheap. Korfu's three-and-a-half week course costs $2,750 and General Assembly's 8-10 week intensive classes cost between $8,000 and $12,000.
If you need job skills or are interested in changing careers, courses like the ones offered by Korfu and General Assembly (and others) are certainly helpful.
Not only will they teach you in-demand skills, but you're also surrounded by highly motivated students (they are mostly paying their own way) who engage and push their fellow students. Because of this, there's a real focus on learning.
But the reason they can charge so much and are increasingly hard to get into - Korfu, for example only accepts 1 out of 4 applicants - is their track record getting their graduates jobs.
These firms know in the end their success and the success of their students success is measured by how well they place their grads in jobs. Because of this, they work hard on job placement.
We've interviewed dozens of people who haven't taken these courses and the vast majority report being highly satisfied. And the reason is almost everyone we've interviewed found a job in their field of study and many had multiple job offers.
A combination of trends are driving the rapid growth of these types of training firms. Expect to see this industry continue to expand in the coming years.