CTE Awareness Month

For CTE awareness month, each week represents a different focus that relates to Career and Technical Education.  See below for more information.

Week 1: The New World of Work

Technological advances are driving an accelerated rate of change in the world of work, affecting the types of jobs available, the fields in which we work, and the skills we need to succeed.

Did You Know?

According to the Stanford Future of Work Symposium:

  • 45% of employers say their new hires are not prepared, whereas 72% of educators believe graduates are prepared for the world of work
  • 85% of employers say the new employees have no soft (power) skills
  • 60% of employers say the skills gap occurs in critical thinking, communication, speaking, and teaming

Skills = New Currency

Skills are the new currency. The more skills students develop, the more marketable they are.

  • The skills needed for success are critical thinking, communication, creativity, and cultural fluency and this shift is occurring at an accelerated rate
  • Skills have become the key driver of individual well-being and economic success in the 21st century (Source: OCED Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report)
  • The jobs that are durable and “future proof” are jobs with people skills

Move Toward a Gig Economy

Our increasingly mobile workforce is leading us to a gig economy, where organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements and specific projects from a larger, global pool of applicants. (Source: Tech Target)

  • By 2020, 40% of America’s workforce will be independent workers (Source: Intuit)
  • Skills have become the key driver of individual well-being and economic success in the 21st century (Source:OCED Skills Strategy Diagnostic Report)
  • It is no longer enough to have a degree; you need demonstrable skills to meet the demands of an increasingly complex workplace

New Fields of Work

Many fields of work are disappearing while others are being formed to meet the changing needs of our world.

  • Skills in artificial intelligence (AI) are one of the fastest growing skills, with 190% increase from 2015-2017 (Source: LinkedIn)
  • Current hiring trends are not seeking candidates MBAs and computer science degrees but are inclined to hire data-informed people with degrees in data science and liberal arts
  • Digitization is affecting all companies because of  The Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data
  • Diversity is valued in the new economy, as diverse companies outperform ones that are not

Useful Links:

Forbes’ Workforce Trends
The Future of the Workforce

Luke - Click for Video

"Facts are just not it – knowledge is great but knowing where to use that knowledge is more important." –Luke

Success in the New Economy - Click for Video

This animated video, produced by Orange County Career Education, shows how a combination of technical skills, industry-recognized certifications, employability preparation, and a rigorous general education will help you gain a competitive advantage in the new economy.

Week 2: Post-Secondary Education for All

Once, “college for all” was the only way to achieve success. Now, there are many opportunities in the workforce, and a variety of ways to achieve them.

Did You Know?

There will be 55 million job openings in the economy through 2020: 24 million openings from newly created jobs and 31 million openings due to retiring baby boomers. (Source: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce)

  • 33.36% of the job openings will require at least a bachelor’s or master's degree
  • 30.51% of the job openings will require some college or an associates degree
  • 36.13% of the job openings will not require education beyond high school
  • Students collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. (Source: Forbes, 2018)

Middle-Skill Jobs

Middle-skill jobs are jobs that require some form of post-secondary education but not necessarily a four-year degree (Source: National Skills Coalition). They are in high demand in the Bay Area, and include web developers, computer support specialists, instrumentation workers, and water treatment operators.

  • Middle-skill jobs make up the largest part of America’s and California’s labor market
  • Between 2014-2024, 43% of job openings will be middle-skill jobs (Source: National Skills Coalition)
  • In 2015, middle-skill jobs accounted for 50% of California’s labor market but only 39% of the state’s workers were trained to the middle-skill level (Source: National Skills Coalition)

High Wage, High Growth, High Demand Jobs

Jobs that are in demand in the Bay Area include the following:

The Two-Year Degree

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 65% of today’s jobs will require post-secondary education, but not all jobs require a four-year degree. In many instances, two-year degrees offer several benefits and access to jobs. They are available at the three community colleges within San Mateo County:

The Four-Year Degree

The role of the university is changing to provide a continuous form of learning. The US Department of Education reports that 60% will graduate within 6 years with a bachelor's degree.

Useful Links:

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office 
California State University 
Harvard Business School
Georgetown University Center on Education and The Workforce

Kelly - Click for Video


Alex - Click for Video


Week 3: Career Exploration Begins with Self-Awareness

The more self-aware a student is, the easier it is for them to make decisions regarding their future. Facilitate conversations with students about careers and provide them with resources to make informed career decisions.

Did You Know?

“95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% truly are.”
-Tasha Eurich, author of the book Insight.

“The most powerful thing you can do is to gently stop assuming you’re already self-aware.”
-Tasha Eurich, author of the book Insight.

By 2020, 65% of all jobs in the economy will require post-secondary education and training beyond high school. (Source: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce)

How Do You Encourage Self Awareness in Your Child?

Career exploration first begins with self exploration. Self awareness empowers students to make changes that build on individual areas of strength as well as identify areas to improve. When speaking with your student, ask them questions that go beyond “What did you learn” such as the following:

  • Subject specific questions like, “How did your science lab go today?” or “What part of the book you're reading in English resonated most with you?”
  • “What did you do today that you cannot wait to learn more about?”
  • “What doesn’t work for you? What did you learn about today that you didn’t enjoy?”

How Do You Encourage Career Awareness in Your Child?

Useful Links:

The Employment Development Department  
Labor and Workforce Development Agency
California Career Zone

Terrell - Click for Video

"You don’t necessarily need to go directly into a four-year university... I have a fulfilling career now." –Terrell

Week 4: Tips for Supporting Students

Talk to your student about their future. There are many opportunities for your students to get real world learning experiences before they transition to their post-secondary lives.

Talk to your student and encourage enrollment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes

CTE classes help students explore various careers. During the 2016–17 school year, close to 800,000 high school students across California (45%) enrolled in a CTE course. 

Encourage students to pursue education opportunities that align to possible career goals

Not every student knows exactly what career they want to explore. Even if they do, there is a chance that it will change. It is important to help students stay open to all the different possibilities.

Students can take classes at community colleges. Many community colleges offer career exploration introductory classes as well as boot camps over the summer.

Encourage students to apply for jobs and internships

All students need work experience and/or internship experience not only to build skills for the workforce, but to bolster their college applications. Encourage students to take Career Readiness Workshops to help prepare them to get an internship/job. San Mateo County Office of Education offers these workshops.

There are many internship opportunities during the summer, a time when students don’t necessarily have to choose between studying or learning job skills

  • San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) offers summer internships in five main areas:
    • Dental Front Office Internships
    • Biotechnology Internships
    • Education Internships
    • Hospitality Internships
    • Business and Finance Internships
  • Jobs For Youth offers summer jobs
  • Kaiser Permanente’s internship program, KP Launch, connects students to health care careers
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) offers high school internships in transportation
  • FlySFO Interns usually provide office support or customer service.

Useful Links:

California Career Zone
Labor and Workforce Development Agency  

Marlow - Click for Video

"You need to know where you are and who you are because you cannot allow other people to tell you what you what you are and what you will be." –Marlow