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My belief is that one of the big missing pieces in the US educational system is providing young people perspectives on all the different professions that are available and what it means to select one. I believe that there needs to be a process, course, online resource or some venue(s) that introduce careers to young people. This starts at the high school level (or earlier), becomes a big issue when applying to colleges and continues to be an issue for freshmen undergraduates as they struggle with which major to go into or stick with.

What is needed is a vehicle that introduces young people to many different professions including topics like:
- What does this person do on a day to day basis?
- What kind of career paths are typical?
- What do people enjoy about the job or not enjoy?
- What kind of compensation is available (entry level and 5 or 10 years later)?
- What kind of education do I need to get that kind of job?

Ideally this would be done by having real practitioners come in and present for an hour or 2 or 3 followed by Q&A. Whether in high school, college or in the summer in between, this could be organized as a seminar either in person or through distance learning where each "class" consists of a different professional presenting his profession. In high school this could include doctors, lawyers, bricklayers, plumbers, farmers, et al. Whereas at MIT it would be practitioners who have graduated from the different majors.

Done properly this could be broadcast through EdX to a worldwide audience of all ages.

Ultimately this kind of program should help students select the right major and reduce the indecision and time needed to ferret out what each person really wants to do as a career.

Education & Facilities, Educational experiences, Optimizing the educational and life experience


I agree with this need. Also

I agree with this need. Also educators do not know the jobs that exist. I just did a presentation at the EAST Conference where middle and high school students come to talk about their project based learning work and explore their futures. I had a panel of 4 people - a Nature Conservancy GIS expert, a global installer of ATM and Card Management software, and a 18 year old nanotech research assistant who is three years from an EAST project in a rural school, and myself a old software guy now trying bio-tech. Teachers wanted to know how they could get more information on these types of careers (a quick somewhat random sample of jobs in Little Rock, Arkansas)