College or Career? No, and.

According to the US Census report, there are about to 16 million students enrolled in colleges across the United States.  This statistic has increased consistently throughout U.S. history as the perception of the value of a college education is golden, evidence of movement into the middle or upper-class sectors of society.  Parents want their children to outperform and outearn them, yet that has not been the case of today’s college graduates.  As society changes in the wake of technology innovations and shifting global citizenry, career demands are also shifting.  As K-12 schools and districts grapple with the societal shifts, they are tasked with renovating courses, curricula, and pedagogical approaches.

One resounding reminder for schools, districts, and families is that students of the future ought not to choose between college and career, they should be planning for college and career.  In other words, the decisive move to attend college should invariably be tied to a career trajectory or aspiration.  Additionally, there are career options that may not require four-year university attendance, bachelor’s degree attainment, or graduate level work.  Many high paying careers remain vacant because candidates are not amply qualified or trained adequately with the essential skills necessary.

An essential subsequent move for schools and districts is to make substantial articulated relationships with industries, corporations, and professions, all sorts of societal industries throughout the local and global community.  This, in addition to the liberal arts basic education provided to students, should be the priority of families and schools.

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