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The Future of Jobs is Now

Gradgirl_resized2A recent report from the Pew Research Center took a close look at The State of American Jobs. Pew’s findings reinforced what many who have committed themselves to helping today’s students prepare for the careers – and lives – of tomorrow have long known.

Employment opportunities are rising far faster in those fields requiring higher levels of job preparation. More than half of those surveyed, 54 percent, say that continuous training and learning is essential to job success. And 72 percent say the responsibility for gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the jobs of the future rests with the individual.

Interestingly, just 16 percent of Americans think a four-year college degree prepares students for a well-paying job in today’s economy. And in a surprising finding, half of Americans say the role of college is to teach job-related skills, while only a third (35 percent) believe college is intended to help individuals grow personally and intellectually, a belief that has long dominated discussions of postsecondary education.

Collectively, these findings demonstrate why it is so important for parents, families, educators, guidance counselors, and students to better understand student career pathways and the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully travel on those paths. And it is why it is so important for teachers and their students be a part of research efforts that explore these very questions. The more we know about career pathways and student interests, the more we can do to ensure all students are exploring their interests and opportunities.

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