States Form Coalition To Boost Career Training

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

More than a year after the release of a Harvard University report encouraging the development of more pathways to careers for young adults, a coalition of six states has begun taking steps toward offering viable alternatives for students beyond attending a four-year college.

The Pathways to Prosperity report by Harvard University's Graduate School of Education concluded millions of students are being shortchanged in preparation for a successful career by a one-size-fits-all approach that encourages everyone to earn a bachelor's degree.

The researchers noted that while most jobs now require some higher education, just a third of those created in the coming years are expected to require a bachelor's degree or higher. The same amount will need an associate's degree or occupational credential. The report's authors urged the U.S. to place a greater emphasis on occupational instruction.

Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee announced Tuesday they have formed a network to build alternative tracks leading to a successful career. They'll be working with the Pathways to Prosperity Project at Harvard and Jobs for the Future to connect employers with educators and policymakers.

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