Explaining Southern California's economy

Long-term unemployment: Is education the solution?

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As the economy begins turning around, some CA local governments still struggle with high unemployment

An inquiry about job loss and the struggling economy sent out to our Public Insight Network prompted an interesting response from Scott Hutton, who has engineering training and management experience, but who has been out of work for a long stretch of time and is beginning to question his skills:

I have been debating whether to spend what money I have left on professional training courses and certificates to perhaps make up for the lack of advance degrees.  Or, pursue coursework in computer engineering to try to land a job in the IT field.  IT seems to still have some future here even in Los Angeles.  But, this would be an investment using the last bit of money I have.

The conventional wisdom says that Scott probably should invest in himself and acquire the skills he needs to remain competitive. He doesn't have the benefit of an employer to turn to for additional job training. So he needs to finance it himself, and history indicates that these kinds of investments, while somewhat risky, can pay off.