To bridge the gap between young people and employers, students need to do their research, value experiences, acquire both hard and soft skills, network, and be prepared for roles that have not yet been defined or invented.
The gap between the knowledge, expectations, and skills of millions of young people and the employers they want to work for is large. Students often lack information about careers and have limited aspirations due to their contacts, information, and local opportunities. Career services are often underfunded or nonexistent, and teachers have little professional experience outside of education. Employers have long complained that new hires are not “work-ready” and lack necessary attributes beyond basic numeracy and literacy. However, there is good news, as a growing number of career resources are now available. Students can succeed by doing their research, networking, considering fulfilling careers, accepting that university is not for everyone, valuing experiences as well as qualifications, and being prepared for roles that have not yet been defined or invented.