Giving Compass’ Take:
• An MDRC study shows insight on how career training in high school will help pave the road for more young people to get jobs out of college.
• There are proven strategies that work to benefit high schoolers in terms of career development instruction. How can philanthropists help to get more of these programs into classrooms?
Even in good economic times, many adults — particularly those with just a high school education — struggle to get and keep jobs that pay enough to support their families and permit upward mobility. At the same time, some employers report difficulty finding people with the right skills to meet their needs.
Programs that target in-demand industries or sectors and heavily involve employers in training and work-based learning are effective when well implemented. These approaches can be used for different populations at different stages of their education and employment trajectory — from high school students to the long-term unemployed — and help them build pathways to careers. They can assist dislocated workers and those without 21st-century skills to (re)gain a foothold in the job market, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need.
What Do We Know?
- Sectoral strategies can boost earnings, as well as improve other related outcomes, for low-income workers.
- Career Academies demonstrate that career-focused instruction in high schools increases long-term earnings.
- A career approach to high school equivalency (HSE) instruction can boost pass rates and subsequent college enrollment.
- Integrating basic education with occupational skills training boosts academic outcomes.
- Much innovation is happening in sector-based strategies that deserve study.
Work-based learning is an effective method for teaching skills that are valued in the labor market and a powerful incentive to keep individuals engaged. For younger participants, work-based learning experiences are opportunities to explore careers while building work readiness. For older individuals who need to earn income, paid internships and jobs can be part of an incentive structure that encourages them to strive, persist, and succeed.
Read the full article about career training from MDRC
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