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In July, we released the results of a parent survey conducted by Morning Consult, which revealed their feelings toward schools’ role in preparing students for their future careers, as well as the role of industry partners.

These insights left us asking a very important question: Do students agree?

According to our side-by-side polls of parents and students, the simple answer is yes. Very few parents (13%) and students (5%) strongly agree that schools teach real-world skills, and the majority of both believe schools could do more to prepare students for future careers. They’re also in agreement on issues related to student debt, with 87% of parents and 93% of students saying it’s a serious issue – so serious, 59% of parents would be willing to pay more taxes to cancel it – schools can make efforts to reduce.

Industry partners can also contribute, helping increase students’ exposure to career opportunities by meeting them where they already are – online. There, on platforms like Tallo, students can start to build their professional brand, listing classes they’ve taken, degrees and certifications earned, plus their career interests. Industry partners can then reach out to individuals whose goals are in line with the work they do, engaging them in conversations about workforce trends, valuable skills, even postsecondary education and opportunities for work-based learning.

As this information often changes in response to the country’s economy, the surveys also asked three questions related to the parents’ and students’ perceptions of the job market today, one year from now, and students’ ability to find a lifestyle-supporting job after graduation. From their responses, K12 created the Destinations Career Confidence Index, to track parent’s and students’ evolving responses to these questions.

Spoiler alert: Parents and students are relatively confident in the latter’s ability to find gainful employment – confidence that will only continue to increase if educators and employers implement some of the above-mentioned strategies.

Check out our infographic below, and click here for more information on K12’s parent and student surveys.

About The Author

Shaun E. McAlmont

Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions, manages all aspects of K12's growing career readiness programs including the Destinations Career Academies. He is responsible for providing career readiness and workforce development solutions for students around the country that go beyond jobs traditionally aligned with vocational education to emerging new collar jobs of the future. Prior to joining K12, Dr. McAlmont served as CEO of Neumont College of Computer Science and prior to that as President and CEO of Lincoln Educational Services, a provider of professional skills training with multiple "Lincoln Tech" locations across the country. Originally hired to manage distance learning programs, he eventually oversaw all aspects of the company including operations, sales and marketing, and government and investor relations. Before his decade-long tenure at Lincoln Educational Services, Dr. McAlmont served as President of the Online Learning Division at Alta Colleges. A former NCAA and international athlete, Dr. McAlmont leveraged his success in athletics to inform his business career trajectory, notably writing his doctoral dissertation on advising collegiate athletes on academic and career success. He earned a doctoral degree in higher education, graduating with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania. He has a master's degree in education administration from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University. He currently serves on the BYU Marriott School of Management National Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of Nepris, a company connecting industry and students online.

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