Today students must prepare for future careers in a world where some of the jobs do not yet exist and the required skills are being determined on the job. The focus of the Career Pathways research is to help determine where the jobs of the future are heading and identify the skill sets required to be successful.

This research can be used by teachers to discuss the constantly changing workforce and the importance of developing a nonstop learning mentality. Students can review the trends and determine their preferred career pathway. As partners in the career and educational process parents can use the research to initiate a dialogue about career interests and educational plans.

  • 70% of high school freshman have thought about their career paths, and that figure rises to 81% by the time they are seniors—careers are on their minds!
  • 71% of high school students say “my interests” influences their thinking about career paths, and the role of caring adults is also strong (mothers – 36%; fathers – 27%; and teachers – 17%).

Click on the research findings below to find out more!

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“In-Demand” Careers – Preparing Today’s High School Students for Tomorrow’s Workforce

The economic future of of the US depends on navigating two waves of change.

Digital Citizenship Infographic

Gen Z lives in the digital world. Yet nationwide surveys of high school students and their teachers provide insights to educators and policymakers eager to prepare students for 21st century work and life.

Preparation. A minority of high school students feel school is preparing them to be effective and responsible digital citizens. A majority of teachers feel reasonably confident they can teach digital citizenship, but fewer than half of have had relevant professional.

Digital divide. White and Asian students are best prepared, with more having internet access at home and more feeling school is preparing them for digital citizenship.

Project Management Infographic

Project management is essential for the 21st century workplace. High school students agree. Nine in 10 U.S. students trained in project management believe it will be important to their future careers. Unfortunately, only one in four students have project management training.

Equally important: More than half of students without project management training think it would be valuable to their future careers. This holds regardless of career aspirations, race, gender, or GPA.

Project management offers unique opportunities to prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow and provide today’s students with educational opportunities they value.

The American Dream Infographic

Careers are on the minds of students – based on results of a national survey of U.S. high school students. And the patterns suggest the American Dream persists among Gen Z.

As early as freshman year, about 1 in 3 students have thought about their future careers “very much.” That climbs to about half by senior year. Careers are more likely to be on the minds of academically oriented students and students from economically marginalized groups (e.g., African-Americans, Hispanics, and females).

The results suggest career and educational pathway topics are relevant to students, and offer opportunities to engage and motivate

The New Public Square Infographic

Some believe the internet and social media can create a new public square. A nationwide survey of high school students identifies the progress made and the opportunities for growth.

The vast majority of students have home access to the internet, but the digital divide persists. Students access news online, but racial/ ethnic differences suggest systematic differences in access to information. Regardless of race/ ethnicity, only small minorities report online advocacy.

These findings can inform educators as they work to build civic engagement and skills for citizenship among today’s digital natives.

Global Citizenship Infographic

Futurists argue preparation for global citizenship and mastery of the 4Cs are essentials for the 21st century workforce. A nationwide survey of high school students allows us to tap students’ voices.

About one in three students believe they are being prepared for global citizenship. Perceived preparation has only limited impact on attitudes often linked with global citizenship.

Students rate the value of the 4Cs differently. Overall, they value communication most and creativity least. However, the relative value of the 4Cs varies depending on students’ career aspirations.

The results provide insights to guide educators and industry in preparing the next generation of workers.