Last week, we shared insights from to investors about new changes in the education landscape. What’s it mean for your kids? Read it here.
Now, in part 2, we talk about suggestions from top experts who joined me at SXSW.
With all the innovation, some of it still pricy, experts agreed parents and educators can make any number of moves to boost the return on college investment and prepare students for success in the job market. They include:
· Learn to Program – So your daughter loves dancing? Still, says Learn Capital Managing Partner, Bob Hutter. “Learning to program, even if just for one to two years, exposes you to the design patterns of technology, which are all around us.”
· Manage Online Presence – Have you Googled your child let alone yourself? Did you know that some 60 percent are turned down for a job due to what a recruiter saw online? “Too many students have used social media like Facebook for personal reasons without knowing how to use it for larger or professionally organized purposes,” says American University professor Scott Tower.
· Project Based Learning – Columbia’s Gary Natriello says that programs like SuperFutures that put students through a structured program to create a project can help engage and build real-world skills. “It allows students to practice and actually get something done,” he says. “It’s a pretty powerful way of engaging them.”
· Get Job Ready – Syracuse University’s Bill Ward points out that social media jobs are up 75 percent from a year ago at Monster.com. But according to Manpower.com, 52% of companies report difficulty filling jobs, largely because of a lack of tech or hard job skills. Those jobs may not be in the #1 top earning college major – engineering – but they sure could be a solid start to a high paying and fulfilling career.
“Employers get these college students in and the expectation is there that they have these skills,” says Ward. “ I spoke to a group of students and thought I was going to hear about all the stuff they’re doing. But they are actually unprepared and needing training. Fact is, while they’re good at communicating with friends and family, those are not the skills employers are looking for.”
About SuperFutures: Are you a parent, teen or educator? For more great advice and tools, join the SuperFutures community now – Free. Endorsed by Glee’s “Principal Figgins” and created with experts from Harvard, SuperFutures offers courses to help students identify career options, turn passions into impact, and build 21st century skills for success.