The importance of career awareness
& career education in schools
It is a vital factor in our identity, economic security, social wellbeing, and more, yet is often not included in school curricula.
What we do for a living is inextricably connected to who we are. “What do you do” is one of the first questions people ask when we meet them for the first time (especially prospective in-laws). We’re evaluated, judged, and even stereotyped based on our chosen profession: there’s an artist archetype, an investment banker archetype, a tradesperson archetype, a computer sciences archetype and, naturally, a teacher archetype.
It’s to be expected. After all, the average person spends more of their waking minutes at work than anywhere else; every other facet of life that defines us is force-fitted around our commitment to career. In adulthood, our workplace even becomes our fountain for new friendships which can blend work life and social life into one giant personal tapestry.
With work being such an important ingredient of our overall identity, economic security and spiritual wellbeing, it would only make sense that career awareness/career education would be front and center in every elementary, middle school and high school curriculum. Sadly, we know it’s not, and the byproduct of this gap between fact and action has had a dramatic impact on a wide variety of our social systems.
The long-term effects of not
providing career awareness education
Leads to students and families being buried in student loans and a potential debt increase of up to $600 billion for the federal government.
There’s a huge push from both the academic and social ends of the public spectrum for students to go to college before embarking on their careers. The hope is that once they’re in college, these young adults will have a better handle on what they want to do with their life. Unfortunately, disastrously, this exploration leads to kids and their families getting buried in student loans they can’t afford – and will take years and years of future employment to get paid off.
The cost of not providing kids with better career awareness and career education earlier in their education arc is significant.
Meanwhile, the student loan forgiveness plan that the Biden administration is currently attempting to implement – up to $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year or $250,000 for married couples – could add between $300 billion to $600 billion to the federal debt. The cost of not providing kids with better career awareness and career education earlier in their education arc is significant.
The career awareness and education programs that actually do exist in our public education systems can also be sadly outdated, not taking into consideration exciting new and emerging career paths that will almost inevitably lead to insta-employment upon graduation, such as:
- software development
- big data analytics
- AI engineering
- gene editing
- .… and countless more
From individual happiness and prosperity to a healthier economy, the advantage of career awareness education in schools is tremendous. The younger grades don’t even know about the opportunities that exist outside of their limited field of awareness; they understand what their parents do for a living, probably know of doctors, lawyers, teachers and social workers as career choices but are very much unaware of the big picture. Through career education, students can learn about all the opportunities out there that they don’t even know about.
Solutions to integrate career awareness
education into the classroom
Inviting guests to share their career stories, field trips to different places, and the Snow Cloud Waypoint career assessment program.
There are many ways to integrate career awareness into the classroom. Teachers can invite guests into their classroom to share their career experiences with students. Career-related field trips to locations such as museums, TV stations, fire stations and office buildings can open eyes and provide some excellent context.
But the best way to help students discover their true career potential is through a career exploration program such as the Waypoint personality/career assessment cloud-based education platform developed by Snow Cloud.
This immersive multi-dimensional solution enables students to take an inventory of what they know about themselves – their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses – and begin identifying potential career areas that interest them.
This hands-on program encourages exploration in the classroom and unlike every other test they take and assignment they hand in, there’s no right or wrong answer which makes the learning fun… and rewarding. And their future adult life that much more fulfilling.
Contact us today to learn more about our robust Waypoint career assessment program and to learn more about how you can integrate career awareness into your existing curriculum.