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Preparing Student for the World of Work Speak Up 2018-19 Findings November 2019


Parents and administrators agree on the value of technology to help students develop greater college and career readiness

How should schools prepare students for the world of work?

District Administrators say:

  • Leveraging digital tools and products to support student learning 
  • Integrating workplace skill development into curriculum 
  • Increasing STEM career exploration opportunities for students 

82% of parents say that the effective use of technology within school is important to their children's future success

Workplace skills & development

Most important skills Parents District Admin
Creativity 72% 75%
Critical thinking 84% 91%
Communications 60% 66%
Collaboration 72% 81%

65% of parents selected technology skills as the most important skill for students to learn to be successful in the future.

73% of District Administrators agree. Breakdown by community type:

  • 76% Urban
  • 75% Suburban
  • 71% Rural
Best way to develop skills Parents District Admin
Get work experience 79% 77%
Use tech in school 57% 66%
Work on a group project 53% 61%

Students' attitudes about learning & their future (Students in grades 6-8)

  • 63% Like learning how to do things
  • 54% Like learning how to build things
  • 54% Like learning new ideas
  • 47% I’m learning important skills for my future at school
  • 44% I’m learning important skills for my future by using YouTube

Changing expectations for how students want to explore careers

Declining interest in:

  • Going to summer camp (31%)
  • Participating in after school programs (36%)
  • Career task competitions (34%)

Increasing interest in:

  • Getting real life experience (like an part-time job/internship) (69%)
  • Watching videos about different jobs (45%)
  • Playing online games about a career (42%)

SOURCE: Speak Up 2018-19 Research Project Findings - the results of the authentic, unfiltered views of over 343,500  K-12 students, parents, educators and community nationwide, collected from October 2018 to June 2019. Speak Up is an annual research initiative of Project Tomorrow. Learn more about Speak Up and other research findings from Project Tomorrow at tomorrow.org.