Preparing the Next-Generation Workforce: Jim Carroll at the 2015 Experience Conference

Topics: Early College High School, Education Policy, ESSA, Future of Learning

“How do you think about careers and skills in time of rapid change?” This was the question Jim Carroll asked attendees of the KnowldgeWorks Experience Conference.

Robotic therapeutical therapy monitors. Water footprint analysts. Manure managers. These are just some of the real jobs Carroll gave as examples of jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago. This presents a challenge to companies who are having to partner with technology companies and bring in skills they didn’t have before. For those of us in education, the challenge is equally as great. We need to prepare kids for a rapidly changing world.

“The future belongs to those are fast,” said Carroll. He wasn’t talking about physical speed but the speed at which people can adapt to change. This is important to those of us education the next-generation workforce. In education we have no choice but to be looking to the future.

The early college high school model allows students to get college experience while still in high school, earning up to 60 college credits or an associate degree. We’re seeing students graduating high school with both diplomas and associate degrees in hand. Other students are graduating with career certifications so they can leave high school and enter directly into the workforce.

KnowledgeWorks is able to partner with our strategic foresight experts to explore and plan for future trends in education. As Carroll said in his talk, “The infrastructure of the world 2025 is being built by us right now.” Our early college graduates are ready to be leaders in that world.

Part of the way early colleges help prepare students are doing the same thing industry is doing: creating partnerships in order to create the right job skills and share knowledge. One example of this style of knowledge sharing is occurring at Marysville Early College High School. Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Columbus State Community College, Honda of America Manufacturing, the Union County Chamber of Commerce and KnowledgeWorks all work closely with the team at Marysville Early College High School. These partners help with everything from curriculum development, creating real-world work experiences for students and ensuring that students graduate with the skills necessary to succeed.

Carroll’s talk launched the KnowledgeWorks Experience Conference, a two-day event for teachers, school leaders, people from higher education and policy makers to discuss what the future of education looks like. For us, we believe early college high school is the future.