It’s too bad that more high schools don’t spend more time on career counseling. That’s when young people often make up their mind on what vocation they are going to follow later in life. Studies show that, not surprisingly, parents have a big influence on career choices. But parents are not always fully informed about careers themselves. So a talented young woman or man could be steered away from a profession that would be high-paying and rewarding. That’s a terrible waste of talent.
Some schools are starting to be more aggressive on this front. At a recent meeting, I learned that the Richmond, VA schools have a career counseling service now because they see it as a key part of the education a student will get while in high school.
Kudos as well to the U.S. Department of Labor for it’s initiation of the Career Voyages program and the In Demand magazine, in particular. Assistant Secretary of Labor, Emily Stover DeRocco and her team have created these magazines directed at student, parents and counselors. They are truly an excellent look at career options. I sure wish I had had something like that when I was in high school. (But then, would I be a blogger if I had?!)
The Manufacturing Institute and it’s Center for Worforce Success contributed to the issue on Advanced Manufacturing which gives a really cool and very readable description of what it is like to be a robotics operator, engineer and process control technician, among other careers. Real people with real jobs are profiled, such as Coty Weil who is a 29 year old robotics operator at Ford Motor Company’s Kansas City plant and Danyelle Sinclair, a 23 year old pharmaceutical process engineer at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s plant in New Jersey. This colorful publication, which has been distributed widely in the schools around the country, is undoubtedly changing minds about career choices around the country as young people see a much wider world than the limits of the high school corridors.
Hot off the presses is the latest in the Career Voyages series. It’s about jobs using STEM–science, technology, engineering and math. These STEM jobs are increasingly important to the future of manufacturing in the United States because manufacturing has become R&D and tech-focused as never before.
If you go to high school, check out these links now! If you know a student or a teacher, do them a big favor and send them this blog entry or the link to the Career Voyages page I cited above. If you just click on any of the highlighted areas above, it will take you directly to that area of interest. You might change a life for the better if you do.
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