Today I attended a meeting today in regards to Career Tech courses and different certifications students can get to make them more marketable to employers. One speaker was talking about Baby Boomers, those who were born between 1946 and 1964, and the fact that many are retiring or will be retiring soon and the jobs they had will need to be filled. However, companies are having a hard time filling these positions because applicants in the workforce are not adequately prepared.
I think many schools have really messed this up! Have we REALLY prepared our graduates for the “Real World” with actual skills that can help them be successful in a career?
The fact is that many, students today are not auto programmed to think that once they graduate from high school they will go to college, declare their major, graduate from college, and then get a good, high paying job.
Many of our students do not plan on going to college. That is something that lawmakers in Texas seem to be beginning to understand and accept the fact that a one-size-fits-all curriculum in high schools today is not what is needed. I am glad that these legislators are finally beginning to realize this. We have to do whatever we can to help our students be prepared for life after high school. This includes preparing students with higher-order thinking skills, problem-solving skills, communication skills, and collaboration skills. Students don’t have to be in Calculus or Physics to get these. This can be accomplished in Career Tech classes while the students, in addition to the fore-mentioned skills, also earn certifications that will help them be more marketable when they apply for a job.
We have the Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), Generation X (born between 1965-1980), Generation Y (born between 1980-2000, and now Generation Z (born between 2000 – present). Society today is different and ever changing, but what has not changed much is our schools. Many of our mission statements say something about “preparing students to be productive members of society, or productive citizens, etc.” What are we really “preparing” our students for? Does passing 15 End-of-Course tests prepare them for real life?
Career Tech classes are vital for everybody. These are the students who we will call on one day to fix our air conditioners in August or our heaters in January. These are the students who we will need to program a certain software application that will help our business run more efficiently. These are the students who will one day take care of you when you are sick and in the hospital. These are the students who we will call on one day when our vehicle messes up and we need it fixed correctly so we can get back and forth to work. These are the students who one day will be working on a pipeline running from Canada to Texas. These are the students who will one day build you a new house. These are the students who will be working on jobs that we haven’t actually thought of yet.
Our schools can’t stay where we are right now. We must continue to look at our courses and look for ways to meet the needs of ALL of our students — those who go to college and those who go into the workforce. Our students deserve our best efforts.