EDUCATION WITH DESTINATION
In developing educational practices and strategies, there is a strong need to ensure the destination is clearly defined. A destination serves as a unifying direction for the educational journey, regardless of the path taken. When successful employment is a central component of the destination for learning, students and educators experience purpose and direction in their educational practices. Learning becomes centered around preparing individuals for careers, as opposed to disseminating abstract concepts in the hopes that students find meaning.
PREPARING FOR TODAY’S CAREERS
Within the field of education, a new force is emerging with a strong emphasis on preparing students for the changing demands of today’s careers. A primary goal of recent policymaking activities has been to improve alignment between education practices and workforce needs. As a result, significant efforts have been made to implement career-ready standards and scale up career pathways that prepare students for high-value jobs. In addition, there has been considerable rethinking and reform of career and technical education (CTE) programs to ensure these programs are more in tune with the rapidly shifting needs of employers.
To foster employment success among students and to meet the needs of communities, as well as the economy, there must be a vital point of intersection between education and industry. This is especially critical in today’s job market, where the path to employment success is radically changing. Specifically, there is a need for individuals with advanced skills and this need is quickly outgrowing the supply within our current workforce.
UNDERSTANDING LOCAL LABOR MARKETS
Using labor market information to understand workforce trends can be an important part of helping students achieve employment success. Basic statistics pertaining to median wage, annual job openings, growth rates, and job zones, can be used by educators to gain awareness of the top career clusters and pathways that offer high-value career destinations for students. With this knowledge, curriculum can be designed with the realities of the local job market in mind. Math and reading lessons can incorporate specific examples from high-value careers in top career clusters. Furthermore, skills and concepts necessary for high-demand careers, such as STEM-related careers, can be emphasized.
When students’ informed career choices are paired with career-relevant education, a robust setting for tremendous growth and learning can emerge. Value and purpose is maximized and students can experience a genuine motivation to obtain the advanced skills needed for jobs in our changing economy. Employment success can become a common reality, as opposed to an occasional coincidence.
CONNECTING WITH INDUSTRY USING P2C
Pathway2Careers offers a critical bridge between education and industry that can help educators connect with the realities of their local job market. It provides a flexible framework where educators can explore labor market information and access innovative methods for preparing students for careers. Through the use of straightforward tools, educators can easily identify high-value career destinations for students. These destinations guide the selection of effective resources and materials, available within the P2C framework, that can sustain progress on the path to career-readiness.
Labor market information is used to identify high-value career destinations.
Educational materials are selected that help build pathways to high-value career destinations.
Fundamental concepts are taught in the context of high-value career destinations, enhancing motivation to learn and promoting career-readiness.