Career Readiness Programs Prepare Students Better

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Recently, I wrote an article for
The College Fix based on an article from RealClearEducation. The article was excellently written by Dr. Shaun McAlmont. He discusses why China is able to beat the United States with advanced techonologies. I wanted to share it here as well. Plus, I figured I could take a break from writing about human trafficking. In short, McAlmont states that students aren't properly prepared for the real world. They are given little education about having education-oriented or career-oriented goals. Nobody knows what their major is when they graduate high school, or if they want to go to college. There needs to be more focus on what students want to pursue after their high school education.

Most high schoolers have no clue what they're going to do once they're out of school. High schools have poor preparation for those preparing to graduate of helping them learn what to do with their life. Dr. McAlmont mentions how China is beating the U.S. in the trade war. According to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal, the tech industry is prepared to come out more ahead. China is prepared for that.

"China has the world’s second-largest economy and a faster-growing and more lucrative tech industry... It’s winning the 5G race, contributes more to AI research, and because its population is so large, it has more data to feed to machine-learning and transportation technologies like self-driving vehicles," McAlmont states.

The United States is failing because of the education system. McAlmont points out that America's current educational model is "outdated and expensive." What I've noticed, like McAlmont, is how students are expected to go from high school to 4 year colleges. The one thing they aren't educated on is choosing a major or deciding their career path. Most four-year colleges don't have the students declare their major "until sophomore or junior year."

"When they graduate (often with massive debt), many have little idea what careers they want to pursue or how they will pay back their loans."

Even if a student is or isn't sure what major will be their path, career oriented training will benefit them. I wish I had this in high school. The preparation we really had was to give a PowerPoint on what we are going to be when we grow up and why. Thankfully, I would speak with my parents, and they helped me figure out what to do with my life. Most career readiness programs help prepare students with necessary skills to enter the workforce and real life.

What's interesting to read is how most parents actually support more high schools having career readiness programs. According to McAlmont, a recent Stride survey proved that "82% of parents said that they would be more likely to choose a high school for their child that offers career education. " Even more intriguing was that career-readiness education is the one topic that there is bipartisan agreement. "The overwhelming majority of Republicans (80%) and Democrats (83%) agree that the U.S. should invest in CRE," McAlmont writes.

What does this all mean? In a nutshell, high schools need to focus more on career readiness rather than academics. Nobody is saying academics isn't important. Obviously you need them. BUT, career readiness can help a student know what they want to do without wasting the time or money of discovering that on their own. Students should be taught the options of going to community college then transferring to a major university (like I did), going to a technical school, doing internships... anything! It shouldn't be "You have to go to a four year school." Career readiness programs should become in schools. It will help strengthen the country.

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