Today's Newsletter: Do All Students Need A College Degree?

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Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana:Have we gone too far towards college for all and forgetting about career options? I sit on the county’s economic development committee. We recently had our vocational director speak along with a representative manufacturing employer. High-tech manufacturing jobs are hard to fill. One of our employers has more than 60 high-paying full-benefit jobs open; another is short 25 workers. As a superintendent, I have been criticized for even suggesting that a four-year college isn’t for every student. However, 36% of the workforce in 2020 is not projected to need a college degree according to a Georgetown University Study. Since 1973, the number of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree has risen from nine percent to 24%, but a third of the jobs will not require a college degree. Career and college readiness are relatively similar according to many including NACE and the US Department of Education. Many of these non-college jobs do require technology skills according to CNN. We need to work with our students to make sure they are aware of career options long before they get to their senior year in high school. The first step is to make students and parents aware of these opportunities. Some of the best career exploration sites include CareerOneStop, Minnesota State’s Careerwise, and California’s Career Zone. Educators need to make sure that we create the right path for each individual student and that we don’t send all students to college without exploring all options for each child.