Originally published in The Detroit News – November 7, 2018
Experts tell us that more than 50 million job openings will be created by 2020. Many of these jobs will require a four-year college degree. But many of these jobs — 30 percent of them to be exact— won’t require a four-year degree.
These jobs are what the experts are calling “new collar.” New collar positions like cybersecurity analysts, computer support specialists, and web engineers are already in high demand. I believe that Michigan students who’ve had hands-on experience in these fields of interest and others should be first in line for these kinds of opportunities.
Through career readiness programs, high school students are getting the extra support they need to make them stand out in the workforce. For example, expert teachers — most of whom have experience in the fields they teach — often provide instruction and first-hand experience designed to help students find the path that works best for them.
However, career readiness programs aren’t just great resources for students—they’re great for employers, too. New collar and middle skill jobs make up 51 percent of the job market.
This is the largest share of jobs in the state and “the largest share of future job openings,” according to the National Skills Coalition. Employers are eagerly looking for workers to fill these spots and career readiness programs are designed to help bridge this gap.
Kendall Schroeder is Head of School at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA).
To learn more about MGLVA, visit https://mglva.k12.com/.