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"Success, Redefined" issue (October)
A newsletter (for adults) about career-readiness (for kids).
In the past few months we’ve been working closely with Jobs for the Future (JFF) to commission and analyze research on an important topic: peoples’ views, perspectives, and experiences with non-degree pathways. Non-degree pathways — apprenticeships, internships, bootcamps, certifications, micro-credentials, and beyond — are education-to-career options that don’t inherently end in a degree. (It’s important to note, however, that a person on any these pathways may already have, or may later obtain, a degree.)
Driving our research was this simple truth: kids need to know that there is more than one path to success, and that earning a college degree does not define a person’s value, potential, or — increasingly — their employability. So, we spoke to young people who have been pursuing these options to find out why they chose not to go to college, and what their experiences have been like taking the “path(s) less traveled.” We spoke to their parents and teachers to find out what they know about non-degree options, and how they feel about their children and students pursuing them.
One young woman — Yssa — shared her experiences with taking a web development bootcamp as a strategic step to gain employment in IT. To young people considering a non-degree pathway, she advises:
“Talk to people who have done it first. Go to an [employer] event and talk to the people who work there. You can start networking now. I wish I could have discovered all of the pathways before I started my journey.”
I won’t give away the main findings here (you can click here to access the report), but I will say this: this research affirms our work and validates our desire to ensure that many more kids have access to a breadth of information about a wide array of postsecondary options. They want this information, their parents and teachers want it, and when kids understand that they have a choice about what to do beyond high school that’s bigger than “college or no college,” everyone will be better off for it.
(If you’d like to reach me directly, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
P.S. - My pick of the month is Sixteen High Schoolers Earning Money, School Credit, and Experience in Work-based Learning. At a school in Tennessee, sixteen high school students are earning money, high school credit, and experience all at once. Creative and forward-thinking initiatives like this allow kids to build in-demand job skills, and social capital — two things every person joining today’s (and tomorrow’s) workforce will need in droves.
Walmart Dropping Degree Requirements for Some Corporate Jobs
This piece explains how one of the nation’s biggest employers is removing the degree requirement for some white collar jobs within its ranks. "Walmart has always been focused on eliminating unnecessary barriers for associates to advance in their careers,” a Walmart spokesperson explains.
The Bottom Line: This is an increasingly common move among well-established employers, many of whom are realizing the immense value in opening up their talent pipelines to a broader pool than just those who have traditional college degrees. As more and more employers make this shift, the college degree will lose its dominance as the only route to a good career, and more kids can feel free to explore and pursue non-degree pathways into the workforce. All in all, this is a strong move from Walmart and a great sign of opportunity to come for American kids.
Gauging Youth on Non-Degree Options (Research from ASA and Jobs for the Future (JFF))
Students with Career Role Models More Satisfied Later in Life, Poll Shows (A study from Amazon and Gallup)
Majority of 2023 Graduates Opting Out of Traditional Four-Year College Route (Research from YouScience)
ACT Scores Fall for 6th Straight Year (A readout of national ACT College Readiness reports)
Updates Likely Coming to How Maryland Measures “College and Career Readiness” (A report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR))
Crisis-Proofing Today's Learners with Jean Eddy (Trending in Education Podcast, October 19, 2023)
Nondegree Upskilling Still Hampered by Lack of Awareness (HR Dive, October 20, 2023)
Making an Impact: 5 Summer Internships that Ignited Students’ Passions (UC San Diego Today, October 10, 2023)
Colorado Launches $2.5 Million in Grants for Youth Apprenticeships (Colorado Politics, October 11, 2023)
Skills-First Talent Movement Receives Major Boost as Rework America Alliance Transitions to National Nonprofit Jobs for the Future (Cision/PRNewswire, October 4, 2023)
McBroom Testifies in Support of Work-based Learning (Public Radio 90, October 5, 2023)
Alabama Approves Training Courses for High Schoolers (Yellowhammer News, September 27, 2023)
FCPS Awarded Grant to Incentivize Youth Apprenticeships in Local Businesses (Frederick News Post, October 3, 2023)
CityLine: Apprentice Learning Gives Students Their First Work Experiences (WCVB News, October 3, 2023)
Career Readiness in New Hampshire Schools Boosts Students’ Hope, Survey Shows (New Hampshire Bulletin, September 25, 2023)
Below is a list of upcoming events and recaps of recent panel presentations that elevate critical conversations in the youth career readiness space.
Register to Attend:
Association of Middle Level Education (National Harbor, MD - November 1-4, 2023)
Virtual Internship: Scaling Access to Real-World Learning (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel)
Student-Led or Teacher-Led? Career Exploration Can be Both (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel)
Skills: Building Blocks for Every Pathway (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel)
Democratizing Success: Blended Pathways for the Next Generation of Learners (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
Ready for Earning, Learning, and Life (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
Preparing the Next Generation for Future Careers - My Conversation with Jean-Claude Brizard and Michael Horn (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
Changing the World is Hard: What Impact Investors Think About Non-Degree Pathways (A recap of an ASU+GSV panel conversation)
Here to Stay: Expanding Pathways in Postsecondary Education (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel conversation)
If Not a Degree, Then What? Verifying Candidates in a Skills-Based Hiring Framework (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel presentation)
Engaging Employers in High School Work-based Learning (A recap of a SXSW EDU panel presentation)