More students choosing path to career over college
“Our goal is to get students on the right path, whether it’s college or straight to work,” said Jody Reeves, director of Gwinnett County Schools Academies and Career and Technical Education department.
At a recent school board meeting, she presented the progress the program is making in matching students with careers. This year Gwinnett had 4,601 students in automotive, culinary arts, computer science, engineering, health sciences and construction who passed assessments and credentialing to be college and career ready.

As many recent high school graduates use the summer to get ready for college about a third of their classmates are headed straight to work. The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that of the 2.9 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2017, about 1.9 million (66.7 percent) were enrolled in college in October.

What those numbers don’t reveal is that not everyone who doesn’t go to college is destined for a life of minimum-wage jobs. A growing trend shows many young adults who don’t pursue ivy-covered halls are still career focused....

A study released earlier this year by the Brookings Institution showed that of the 10 million young adults in the workforce, not all opportunities are equal.

Career advancement prospects are limited for workers with low levels of education, and the data are not promising on this front: only one in five of the working/not-in-school group has an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The largest share of the working/not-in-school group (nearly half, or 42 percent) has only a high school diploma; another 10 percent has less than a high school education. That is, 5.3 million 18-24 year-olds—17 percent of all young adults—are done with school, at least for now, and are participating in the work world armed with no more than a high school diploma.

The study suggested that high schools:

Georgia has a strong career pathway program. As early as the sixth grade, students are tested on areas of interest and aptitude.

“Our goal is to get students on the right path, whether it’s college or straight to work,” said Jody Reeves, director of Gwinnett County Schools Academies and Career and Technical Education department.

At a recent school board meeting, she presented the progress the program is making in matching students with careers. This year Gwinnett had 4,601 students in automotive, culinary arts, computer science, engineering, health sciences and construction who passed assessments and credentialing to be college and career ready.

William Sayers