I think one great way to get more people into an industry than are currently there is by making the path into it easier for everyone. I don’t mean by lowering the standards but instead by lowering the total cost – in both time and money – as well the cost of making a mistake.
In particular I’m thinking of colleges and universities in the United States and how they prepare students for the real world. College costs in the US are high and continually rising. These high costs automatically exclude a segment of the population that has to decide to feed themselves or better their chances for success in the working world. Most people will choose to eat in that circumstance, it is lower on the Maslow hierarchy. If we can lower the cost to get an education for an industry then we should see all kinds of people in that industry.
Lowering the cost will make the process of figuring out “what you want to do with your life” better, but could use more improvement. Changing majors in college is difficult and results in wasted time and energy – we are encouraging students to diversify as little as possible in what they learn which I think is a bad thing. Any additional education, whether it is in a particular study path or not, is good for that person as well as anyone who hires them.
I have an idea of how I can help with this, starting small and seeing where it takes me.