Schools are beginning to make the shift from focusing solely on college preparation to getting students career-ready. This shift is starting before high school, in middle and even elementary classrooms.
Career-readiness has been a focus for years, but educators are beginning to emphasize the importance of skills like teamwork, communication, self-awareness, and problem-solving. These are strengths that can help students excel in any position or industry, regardless of what career they may decide to pursue.
Why is Career-Readiness Important?
While schools have a strong grasp on the traditional academics that are needed to prepare students for college and the workforce, softer skills are not always taught, or as easily understood by students.
Teamwork is a concept many students are familiar with, and may have a lot of experience navigating. However, when paired with communication and problem-solving skills, students can develop a well-rounded basis for how to work with others on a team and how to approach challenges that may arise in the workplace. Shifting these skills through the lens of career preparation also can help students better acclimate to a professional setting and be successful in any field they choose to follow.
Self-awareness and navigating emotions are also important skill sets that many students don’t get the chance to learn in schools. Developing emotional intelligence at a young age helps students deal with difficult situations and manage negative emotions.
In addition to these soft skills, adding in an understanding of coding, robotics, and other STEM categories can help make sure students have a basic set of skills that many modern jobs will require.
Is Middle School Too Early to Begin Career-Readiness?
Students in middle school are still years away from entering the workforce, so why should they already be thinking about career-readiness? Middle school can be a tumultuous time for kids, as they are learning who they are and what they are interested in. Equipping them with essential skills like communication and emotional intelligence can help them prepare for high school, college, and their future careers.
Beginning career-readiness at an early age can also give students more time to determine their potential career path and discover jobs and opportunities that they may not even be aware of.
Getting Started with Your ClassIntroducing career-readiness skills in your class isn’t difficult to implement. There are many lessons available that can be used to introduce these concepts to students. There are also kits, like the Photon Career-Readiness Bundle, that incorporate SEL and STEM lessons with teamwork and problem-solving. As always, you can also reach out to Eduscape to help implement a plan for career-readiness in your school.
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