Career Resource Roundup, Vol. 1

January 30, 2018

By Bill DeBaun, Director of Data and Evaluation 

Faithful readers of the NCAN blog no doubt know about our periodic “Data Resource Roundup” (now up to its 10th edition!). For the past year, we have worked with the support of Strada Education Network to help NCAN members connect college and career success. Consider this list of resources, reports, and tools the inaugural Career Resource Roundup! Have a resource you would like us to list? Contact me

STATES, HERE’S YOUR ROADMAP: Delaware is known as the First State, and it also may be number one in developing strategic partnerships that connect college and careers for students. Facing a workforce hiring need in 2024 that was larger than the state’s entire K-12 population, stakeholders from across the spectrum came together to change Delaware’s college and career landscape. This report from Jobs for the Future walks through the five broad areas of work that Delaware engaged in: 

  • Build a comprehensive system of career preparation that aligns with the state and regional economies;
  • Scale and sustain meaningful work-based learning experiences for students in grades 7-14;
  • Integrate education and workforce development efforts and data systems;
  • Coordinate financial support; and
  • Engage employers, educators, and service providers to support Delaware Pathways.

Each section is thoughtfully detailed, and this provides a roadmap for states, regions, and metropolitan areas interested in this work. 

WHAT IS A GOOD JOB AND WHERE CAN I GET ONE? Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce is a well-known source of labor market data and research. The staff there don’t mince words with the title of their latest report: “Good Jobs That Pay Without a BA.” The report defines a “good job” as one offering “$35,000 ($17 per hour for a full-time job) as the minimum earnings for those under age 45 and $45,000 ($22 per hour for a full-time job) for workers age 45 and older.” They also note that “in 2015, these good jobs had median earnings of $55,000 per year.” The report asserts that “the reported death of the middle economy is greatly exaggerated. There are 30 million good jobs in the United States today that pay without a BA (bachelor’s degree).” Not only does this research explain geographic shifts in the types of jobs available, but it also includes state-by-state analyses and reports that are very handy references.

SOMETHING FOR THE MIDDLE SCHOOL SET: NCAN’s work in early awareness demonstrated the potential impact of reaching out to middle school students about college. The same is true of career awareness, says this blog post from New America. The post namedrops NCAN member Spark and explains how “one strategy taking hold in states is increasing access to both career-oriented experiential learning opportunities and personalized career counseling.” 

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT CREDENTIALED: Credential Engine is a nonprofit aiming to serve as a registry for postsecondary credentials. According to Inside Higher Ed, as of October the tool had about 1,264 credentials from around 160 institutions and organizations, with plans for a formal launch in December 2017. According to its website, the Credential Engine will include “universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges that award a variety of credentials, from certificates and associate degrees to baccalaureate and graduate level degrees,” as well as “organizations and companies that award industry certifications, certificates, and other credentials such as licenses and badges.” Hopefully, putting all of these credentials - as well as their labor outcomes and requirements - in one place will be a handy organizational exercise. Lumina Foundation and JPMorgan Chase are funding Credential Engine.

MAKE IT MULTIMEDIA: Who doesn’t love a little lunchtime video? This conference session from SXSWedu features American Institutes for Research/College Measures’ Mark Schneider, Student Connections’ Tony Wise, and Annie Mais from Roadtrip Nation. The panel is moderated by Alison Griffin from Strada Education Network. The session focuses on three Strada-funded tools and resources that help to improve students’ understanding of career pathways.

ONE STOP, JUST ONE: The U.S. Department of Labor has a new site called GetMyFuture located at CareerOneStop.org. It's aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds and emphasizes special resources “for those experiencing barriers to success such as involvement in foster care, addiction, homelessness, teen parenting, or a lack of financial, family, or community resources.” The contents covers tips, worksheets, and other information designed specifically to help the audience explore career pathways, understand education and credential options, and navigate the job market.

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