Prepping Today's Students for Tomorrow's Workplace

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As this report went to press, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development put out a study that largely underscores its central theme: Schools are lagging in preparing students for tomorrow's jobs.

The 41-nation study found that students' career aspirations have narrowed just as dramatic technological and social changes are transforming the workplace. In fact, teenagers' "dream jobs" today are nearly identical to those in 2000, putting many at a disadvantage in the emerging economy.

"What we know about the future of work doesn't make its way into classrooms and experiences of young people," study co-author Andreas Schleicher concluded.

Educators would not entirely disagree. A poll by our own EdWeek Research Center found that more than half of educators—51 percent—said updating curriculum to get students ready for the jobs of the future is a top priority.

The challenge is figuring out what schools ought to teach. Is it creativity? Data science? Soft skills?

This report fills in some of those blanks. Read on to find out what companies want from new employees, how teachers are infusing "big data" skills into math lessons, and what schools are doing to expose students to cutting-edge business operations. Are your students ready for tomorrow's workplace?

—The Editors

Vol. 39, Issue 20, Page 1

Published in Print: February 5, 2020, as Editors' Note
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