When Opportunity Knocks, Schools Can Better Prepare Students to Answer

Author: Shaun E. McAlmont
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EdTech Café

EdTech Cafe
 Standford EdTech (Author)
EdTech Café is a podcast series produced by the educational technology team at Stanford Medicine.

In July, we released the
results of a parent survey
conducted by Morning Consult, which revealed their feelings toward schools’
role in preparing students for their future careers, as well as the role of
industry partners.

These insights left us asking
a very important question: Do students agree?

According to our side-by-side polls of parents and students, the simple answer is yes. Very few parents (13%) and students (5%) strongly agree that schools teach real-world skills, and the majority of both believe schools could do more to prepare students for future careers. They’re also in agreement on issues related to student debt, with 87% of parents and 93% of students saying it’s a serious issue – so serious, 59% of parents would be willing to pay more taxes to cancel it – schools can make efforts to reduce.

Industry partners can also contribute, helping increase students’ exposure to career opportunities by meeting them where they already are – online. There, on platforms like Tallo, students can start to build their professional brand, listing classes they’ve taken, degrees and certifications earned, plus their career interests. Industry partners can then reach out to individuals whose goals are in line with the work they do, engaging them in conversations about workforce trends, valuable skills, even postsecondary education and opportunities for work-based learning.

As this information often
changes in response to the country’s economy, the surveys also asked three
questions related to the parents’ and students’ perceptions of the job market
today, one year from now, and students’ ability to find a lifestyle-supporting
job after graduation. From their responses, K12 created the Destinations
Career Confidence Index
, to track
parent’s and students’ evolving responses to these questions.

Spoiler alert: Parents and students are relatively confident in the latter’s ability to find gainful employment – confidence that will only continue to increase if educators and employers implement some of the above-mentioned strategies.

Click here for more information on K12’s parent and student surveys.

When Opportunity Knocks, Schools Can Better Prepare Students to Answer
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