Career readiness is the process of preparing students with the skills they need to find, acquire, maintain, and grow within a job.
Have you just been asked to teach "career readiness"? Are you struggling to figure out what that actually means, let alone how to teach it?
You're not alone.
Every state has different standards for what career readinessshouldinclude and there is often a fuzzy line between career readiness skills and 21st Century skills.
This all adds up to make career readiness a complex educational topic to grasp.
So how can you approach such a challenging subject in your classes?
On this page, you'll learn what career readiness is, why it’s important, what’s going on with state standards, and how you can teach it.
Let’s start with the basics — how do you define career readiness?
The Definition of Career Readiness
Career readiness focuses on preparing students with the information they need to succeed when they’re entering the job market.
Career readiness skills can apply to any job at any company and at any level. Even a student’s first job as a grocery store cashier incorporates career readiness principles, just like their career choices in adulthood.
In that respect, career readiness covers just about everything that has to do with someone entering the job market.
It includes career exploration because students have to know what jobs are good matches for them in the future.
It includesprofessionalismbecause students need to know the behavioral expectations of a workplace versus their social group.
This is just a sampling of the different topics that career readiness covers, but the point still stands.
Career readiness encompasses everything that a student needs to know to launch a successful occupational life, along with all of the accomplishment, pride, stability, and progression that entails.
Sometimes that refers tosoft skills. Other times, it means learning a hard-and-fast way to perform a certain process.
But at the end of the day, career readiness promises exactly what’s in its name - helping students become career ready!
Why Does Career Readiness Matter?
Career readiness is important because it focuses on teaching the skills students need to succeed in real-world jobs.
This may sound like a no-brainer to anyone with a strong intuition for professionalism or entrepreneurship. But as traditional education has changed over time, its focus has shifted away from skills and more toward theory.
This has led to a strange problem in modern high school and college graduates — the “skills gap.”
The skills gap is the disparity between the knowledge that companies want from job applicants and what those job applicants actually know.
In other words, companies aren’t interested in teaching new employees all of the skills they need to succeed via on-the-job experience.
However, many schools aren’t currently teaching those skills to their students before they graduate.
The result is this strange difference in what business owners want and what recent graduates offer.