“I want more minorities to imagine/visualize occupational opportunities in a variety of top jobs in the U.S. economy.”
A message from Dr. Jack E. Thomas: Why I developed this website:
I developed this website to encourage more underrepresented minorities to develop interest in, pursue and persist in preparation for the best professional careers the U.S. labor market offers. We focus on 330 of the career titles listed in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). Nearly all the careers we encourage require four-year college degrees or more and are high paid, highly skilled jobs. I want more minorities to imagine/visualize occupational opportunities in a variety of top jobs in the U.S. economy.
Why do we encourage minorities to pursue these jobs? We encourage minorities to pursue these extraordinary jobs because minority participation in such jobs today is minimal and that is too bad. There are a lot of high skilled professional jobs in the U.S. labor market, around 36 million jobs or about 25-30 percent of all jobs. Most of these jobs are found in two large occupational groups: Management and Professional Specialty – about 50 million jobs. African Americans hold only about 7% of high paid, highly skilled professional jobs. Hispanic American are likewise underrepresented in the top occupations. White Americans and Asian Americans, on the other hand, are overrepresented in such jobs.
At Anyonecanachieve we strongly believe that the top 25% of jobs (around 36 million jobs spanning a broad range of interests and aptitudes ought to be diversified. The jobs at the top ought to reflect the diversity of the country – just as the jobs at the bottom or in the middle.
We have little doubt that diversifying the top jobs will go a long way to eliminate the current disparity in economic outcomes between black and white Americans and between Hispanic and white Americans. As long as the two groups are overrepresented in low paid occupations and underrepresented in high paid jobs, the disparity in quality of life will remain between the groups. This disparity is ultimately unacceptable as it undermines basic American principles.
Some people in government believe the way to create equity and fairness is through taking more taxes from successful individuals and redistributing the money to those less successful. I believe this might work but is shortsighted. I like the contrasting idea of providing labor market opportunities for everyone to exploit their God given ability. All Americans should have the opportunity to grow, learn, develop and prosper. This is a “glass half-full” approach which is better than pitting one group against another.
Some believe lingering racial discrimination causes the economic disparity between blacks and whites. Our mentors can be helpful in identifying any lingering pockets of discrimination or bias and helping students find strategies to succeed in spite of it! Ultimately we are hopeful that all vestiges of bias will disappear.
At Anyonecanachieve we concentrate on what can be changed immediately – skills disparity.
This focus is consistent with the nature of the U.S. labor market. Low wage earners nearly always have fewer skills to sell within the marketplace. High wage earners have more and better developed skills to sell.
Ultimately to erase the economic disparity we will need more minorities with skills needed in the marketplace of the 21st century. We will need greater minority participation in the 330 job titles we’ve identified. This is not a guess! This is a reality that is neither judgmental nor political. The door to better professional participation is open. Millions of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans have already done the hard work that leads to participation in the top professions. We just need millions more to do the same. It can be done and it can be done now! The door is already open! I believe a major problem is that we as a country must be able to convey to all that that door is open. It is clear that many minorities believe this and push through that door of opportunity. We need more to do the same – millions more.
We need to increase the general perception of opportunity that is growing. We must create the perception that you can do this and that we have others like you – from similar circumstances who are willing to show you the way to phenomenal American success. We must persuade more minorities that in spite of the fact that discrimination and stereotypes exists, there can be overcome and have been overcome by millions of minority citizens.
Already, over 2 million African Americans are in high paid occupations and likewise over 2 million Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans. Asian Americans are well represented in the best jobs but we need to see the percentages double for African and Hispanic Americans.
The desire to see more underrepresented minorities in top jobs isn’t a matter of them versus us or somebody loses and someone else wins. Jobs in the two top pay occupational groups grow at a faster rate than for example unskilled jobs. Demographic changes in our society as a whole will in the next decade or two usher in a new set of incumbents – many of the incumbents (based on demographic reality alone) will necessarily come from minority groups.
How can the numbers be changed? We believe that more African/Hispanic Americans will be persuaded to see the value of staying in college and see the value of persisting in college with just a little help from our mentors.
Our mentors have “been there and done that.”
We plan to help minority college students with overall motivation for choosing better careers (our 330 titles) and we plan to help minority students develop a strong and realistic rationale for persisting in college until their academic/career goals are accomplished.
Anyonecanachieve is occupation focused. Unlike other mentoring programs we definitely link what happens in the classroom to workplace vocational preparation. That is why our website utilizes vocational experts/job experts among our other mentors.
We don’t do generic mentoring. We don’t do “cook book” advising! Our mentors know their specific professional field inside and out. They will provide illuminating information, career strategy and realistic encouragement to students in pursuit of the best careers.
Won’t you join our effort (students, peer-mentors and mentors) to diversify the 330 top job titles in America? Won’t you join our effort to help strengthen minority students’ commitment to higher education and higher career goals?