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ERIC Number: EJ1229647
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
High-Quality Career Readiness for All Students
Mathers, Kathleen
State Education Standard, v19 n3 p4-9 Sep 2019
Significant economic shifts--spurred by rapid technological advancement and the Great Recession--fundamentally altered the path toward economic security and self-sufficiency in the United States, with major consequences for education and work. More states and communities are prioritizing career pathways that start in high school and culminate in a postsecondary credential, and students are exploring their career interests earlier. As this shift takes hold, state boards of education can play a vital role in ensuring that high-quality opportunities are available to all students, especially those who are disproportionately underrepresented in high-value job fields. Individuals with only a high school diploma have about a 30 percent chance of earning more than $30,000, a year, and most that do are male. Recent workforce projections recognize, however, that not all students need a bachelor's degree to thrive in the workforce. Nationally, more than 30 million "good jobs"--ones that provide a family sustaining wage--are held by individuals with less than a bachelor's degree and more than a high school diploma. This level of post secondary education and training--post secondary certificates, journeyman licenses, industry-recognized credentials, and associate degrees-- represents a significant opportunity. In fact, nearly a third of all associate's degree holders and many workers with one-year certificates earn more than the average worker with a bachelor's degree. Over the past four years, in particular, the country has witnessed increased momentum toward high-quality career readiness for all students. During that time, nearly every state has passed legislation pertaining to career readiness or career and technical education (CTE), accounting for more than 600 bills total. This article details three areas that account for the most policy growth: (1) Employer engagement; (2) Accountability; and (3) Work-based learning. Also discussed are actions Board members should take to put all students on a path to economic opportunity. States have a responsibility to make sure all students, especially those from traditionally under served backgrounds, have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in life after high school.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A