Doubts About Career Readiness From College Seniors

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According to the results of a survey by McGraw-Hill Education, only 40 percent of college seniors say their experience in college has been very helpful in preparing them for a career. Not a great percentage if you ask me!

The third annual version of McGraw-Hill’s workforce readiness survey found a rise in the perceived importance of preparing for careers in college. While students report that they are increasingly satisfied with their overall college experience (79 percent in 2016 compared to 65 percent in 2014), an increasing percentage said they would have preferred their schools to provide:

  • More internships and professional experiences (67 percent in 2016 compared to 59 percent in 2014)
  • More time to focus on career preparation (59 percent compared to 47 percent)
  • Better access to career preparation tools (47 percent compared to 38 percent)
  • More alumni networking opportunities (34 percent compared to 22 percent)

From my experience, there are colleges that do a fantastic job regarding career services, those that do a poor job, and most fall somewhere in between. What I think many college students do not realize is that the services offered by college career centers/offices are not going to jump out and find them—they need to seek them out—and in most cases, they will need to supplement what’s offered on campus. Having a career or post-grad plan in place early on in one’s college career is helpful, and a way students can spend more time focusing on career preparation. Early career planning is one of our new focus areas, as students and their families have voiced their concerns and mirrored some of what the McGraw survey cited here points out.

TED-Ed is Awesome

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I am probably a bit late to the party, but TED-Ed is one of my new favorite online learning platforms. TED’s “Lessons Worth Sharing” are certainly that and more. TED-Ed lessons are built around TED-Ed Original, TED Talk or YouTube videos, with subjects ranging from the arts and mathematics to business, health, teaching and education, and my favorite thinking and learning. From “The Ethical Dilemma of Self-driving Cars” to “Why Do Some People Go Bald,” there is no lack of content worth checking out on TED-Ed.

There are also series, collections of videos on a particular topic, like “Superhero Science,” “You Are What You Eat,” or my favorite “Everyone Has a Story.” And last but not least, TED-Ed Clubs.

 

 

TED-Ed Clubs supports students in presenting their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. Some students may even end up on the TED stage and online. Want to learn how to start a TED-Ed Club (why not, right?)? Download the TED-Ed Club information packet.

I highly recommend checking out TED-Ed in its entirety. A solid resource for students, parents, educators, and life-long learners of all ages.

Gear Up for AP Exams with edX

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I am a huge fan of edX for exploration of academic and possible majors of interest for my students. They also offer specially designed courses to help students prepare for Advanced Placement (AP®) Exams.

Covering subjects ranging from English language and composition to calculus, biology, statistics and computer science, their prep courses provide access to quality materials at no cost. Teachers can also integrate the course materials to flip the classroom and augment their curriculum if they desire.

Check out the AP prep offerings via edX here.

What If the E! Network Covered Engineering?

The title of one of my favorite (recent) IHE articles. Funny (really, really funny), but the intent of the video the article cites is also serious. I loathe E! and every other celebrity gossip network, magazine, and so on. I sincerely wish that society placed more value on exploring intellectual interests, working toward meaningful careers, and pursuing work that positively impacts others and leaves the world a better place.

From the IHE article:

“This comedy video campaign seeks to challenge public stereotypes about engineers (what they look like, what they do and how they affect our lives), as well as strengthen the pipeline for those who want to pursue engineering,” said Amy Blumenthal, a spokeswoman for the USC engineering school, via email. “We would like people to understand that there is not one type of person who becomes an engineer, nor one type of engineer — and engineers make incredible impact.” The video is live this week as part of National Engineers Week.