Prepping Students for Career Success

Each school year, secondary schools are tasked with providing students with the knowledge, skills and experiences needed to help them lead productive and fulfilling lives. While rigorous academic standards may help to further educate students, schools must also have resources in place that can help students discover their strengths and explore potential career paths sooner, rather than later.

Today, some schools provide standard career preparation programs that offer opportunities to gain first hand experience in various well-paying fields, but there are still a number of schools across the nation that lack accountability at the state level. This lack of accountability has led to career planning falling to the bottom of the priority list for both school administrators and students each year. Millions of students begin working as early as their sophomore year of high school and many go on to complete college applications, still unsure of what career path to choose.

Nevertheless, the labor market is continuously changing year by year, and students must be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to achieve career success. As the new school year approaches, why not make 2018 the year your school takes the first step in improving its career preparation plans? Consider introducing these two resources:

Mentorship Programs

70% of students who received mentorship believe they were better prepared to enter the workforce. By providing a platform for students, alumni and professional community members to engage in mentorship, schools open the door for endless possibilities, and do away with the fear students may have when considering reaching out to mentors on their own. Students have the chance to connect with mentors in fields they are curious to learn more about and discover new career paths that fit their skills or interests. Through mentorship, students also have the ability to gain experience, network within the field and make valuable connections that can boost their knowledge before they even approach the college application process.

Internships Programs

Similarly to mentorship, offering direct access to local internships allows students to learn more about potential career paths, while working within their school’s community. Internships also help students build their resume and network within companies for future recommendations. Although academic credit or pay is not always earned at the secondary school level, students who intern gain invaluable knowledge in fields they may be considering or want to consider following the internship. Luckily, school communities harbor a network of teachers, alumni and parents who have businesses or know of others who may. Therefore, schools have the ability tap into their networks in order to discover internships or part-time positions for students to explore.

While these programs offer students the upper-hand when it comes to career success, student’s ultimate success is heavily determined by their opportunities and willingness to engage. School leaders and community members alike must work proactively to shape and encourage the next generation of business leaders.

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