Develop Career Connections Early

K-12 education should include early career exposure, such as internships, project-based learning, mentor relationships, workplace visits, and the opportunity to earn technical degrees.

Since school is often viewed as distinct from work, we do not fully understand our career options until we enter the labor market. Today, employers have greater expectations for new hires. If young people wait until after school to explore careers and develop requisite skills, they will have a harder time thriving in the emerging economy. 

When students develop early career connections and competencies in school, they will more easily be able to secure jobs for themselves and actively contribute to their fields upon graduation.

Emerging Model: P-TECH

P-TECH, or the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, opened in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York, as the first school in the nation to connect high school, college, and the world of work through industry partnerships (such as IBM). P-TECH provides students with workforce training and career exposure that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. As of September 2016, there were 60-plus network schools and more than 300 large and small companies affiliated with P-TECH schools serving thousands of students.