The Past Couple of Years Have Taught Us All A Lot About Career Preparation And Continued Development
Nobody can argue that our economy is experiencing a seismic shift in the form of workplaces, educational institutions, and technology. 2020 and 2021 were unique years for several professional fields, and many have seen it as a time to pursue meaningful work, and even as a time to strike out on one’s own, along avenues of entrepreneurship. Many people also discovered ways to change their career fields altogether. Students, in particular, have had to think about what jobs and career paths might be best for them, as technologies rapidly advanced. For high school students, this translates into the need for stronger career prep during their years of traditional studies, to help position them for current jobs and newly emerging fields.
Career prep and development provides a lot of benefits for high school students, businesses, and non-profit organizations. In fact, 89% of employers are more likely to hire high school graduates if the students learned more real-world skills, according to the 2021 Future of Learning Research Survey, conducted by the Global Strategy Group on behalf of the Kauffman Foundation. So, successfully working a part-time job not only leverages odds with employers, but it has been shown to boost a teen’s confidence and give them the opportunity to feel successful in applying for, training at, and working another job in the future.
Part-time jobs and internships in high school, as a key part of career prep, can also teach students more adept time management skills, stronger working habits, earnings responsibility, budgeting, and even greater personal independence. And, all of this leads to stronger employees for businesses over the years, with better levels of engagement. Stride has responded to the challenge of making students future-ready, and ready to get to work and help businesses to make an impact through the High School Internship Resource Center, featuring nearly 5000 companies with openings across the United States!
According to the LinkedIn US Workforce Confidence Index, Gen Z has the clearest job-hunting agenda of any age cohort. Among those looking to start something new, they’re the leaders in seeking better alignment with their values (80%), more opportunities to learn or practice new skills (76%), and more opportunities to move up or increase responsibilities (60%).
As we’ve now moved through some very challenging years, this is an excellent time to contemplate some of the key lessons 2020 and 2021 have brought to all of us, in the areas of career prep and development for high school students and businesses alike…
Lesson #1: Career prep can actually begin as early as middle school, for some students.
Current jobs are indeed changing at a rather rapid rate. And, the speed at which new jobs and career fields may develop is also predicted to accelerate beyond 2022. It is for these very reasons that many schools are now convinced that career exploration, and the development of relevant skills, needs to occur at middle school grades, and perhaps even earlier. The past two years have taught us all that with remote jobs and online education, anything is possible… and that we should help kids prepare for those possibilities early on in school! Helping students gain career experience today positions all of us for a stronger and more robust future tomorrow!
Lesson #2: Students should not feel overly pressured to choose just one career path, and businesses should encourage exploration.
If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that no one really knows what jobs will be around in the future, or what certain jobs and industry needs will even look like going forward. High school students should not feel pressured to choose just one career path right away. And, part-time jobs and internships, while in high school, can help students gain a diverse set of skills and experiences that position them (and the businesses they work for) for success in future endeavors. This also has the added effect of creating broadly skilled workers for employers. In fact, 80% of high school students want more access to internships, according to the 2020 Naviance Pathways Survey. And, having students fulfill part-time jobs and internships greatly helps businesses and non-profit organizations gain fresh perspectives and additional professional supports for key projects, when and where needed.
Lesson #3: Career coaching, from professional coaches and on-the-job supervisors, can help students choose a career path that is better matched to their strengths. It can also help businesses hone their development skills.
We can all benefit from some professional coaching, now and then. And, with as tough as some aspects of 2020 and 2021 have been, we’ve seen that career coaching can make a huge difference in thriving during those rough patches. Everyone has some interests and is naturally good at some things. And, a coach, whether professional or provided as an on-the-job mentor, can help students quickly discover careers that match their personality, natural abilities, and strengths. Coaching and mentoring can also help businesses and nonprofit organizations to sharpen their teaching and development skills, and mentoring can greatly assist in developing a stronger employee base for current and future needs, too!
Career prep can make a big difference in the overall greater career trajectory for high school students, and it can help businesses and non-profit organizations to gain greater support for current needs. To learn more about the key benefits of career prep for teens, be sure to visit: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep.html
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career prep advice.
And, check out the article on How To Make The Most Out Of A Virtual Career Fair, too!
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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