3 Resources That are Helping Young Adults Enter the Workforce
Given the noticeable trend of young adults entering the workforce without basic soft skills, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts a shortfall of 2 million skilled workers by 2020. According to Forbes, Employers are now in search for what they are calling “new-collar workers.” New-collar workers are being described as an “individual who develops the technical and soft skills needed to work in technology jobs through nontraditional education paths.” These new-collar workers aren’t expected to have a four-year college degree, but rather trained through certificate programs, technical education through grade school, and furthering soft skill development. So what resources are being made available for new-collar workers, and adapting to this growing workforce?
In today’s class room, learning core academic subjects is essential to graduating. But when one of Education World’s analysts surveyed several career experts, many claimed that no courses prepare students on how to integrate themselves into the office environment. Andrew Rothstein, Chief Academic Officer of the National Academy Foundation said “Too often, high school students do not demonstrate workplace habits that employers prioritize, including reliability, punctuality, customer service and high-quality task completion.” He then went on to comment that knowing what work-appropriate content is in regard to written and verbal, as well as problem solving skills and working as a team, are vital skills to have in today’s workforce. Working with young adults to prepare them for the work environment is crucial to making sure they have the skills to succeed outside of the classroom.
STEM Schools are integrating new curricula that are growing across the United States to enhance the skills of young adults. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, focuses on developing the adaptability of students to be successful in this growing economy and workforce. With modern technology on the rise, these courses equip young adults with the education and ability to excel in the workforce after high school with knowledge of Microsoft Office, advanced understanding of mathematics and science, and more. Other electives include class or group projects that focus on helping students learn how to accomplish goals as a team, enhancing strengths and minimizing weaknesses through working together.
Although advanced academic knowledge is important in adjusting to today’s workforce and evolving careers, basic life skills are also vital to joining the workforce and to maintaining a successful life outside of a career. According to CBS News, Millennials are now being given the opportunity to attend adulting classes that are popping up all over the U.S. These classes teach young adults how to manage their budget, time, everyday household duties, and more.
These resources can be beneficial to young adults seeking employment without a college degree and give them the ability to join what are now new-collar workers. Better preparing students and young adults can prepare them for future employment and help close the skills gap seen in our workforce.