Parents, please talk to your HS student about scheduling a job shadow experience

Good morning, Parents.

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday, and now, even though the weather remains unusually nice, I hope you are beginning to get in the spirit of Christmas.

I read an article entitled, These are the skills you need to find a job in America in 2016, and it repeats a message that I hope every one of our students fully understand.  The first line of the article states, “America jobs are not what they used to be.”  That is exactly what we are hearing frequently from Sheboygan County manufacturers and they want very much for the next generation of workers to take a good look at their opportunities and facilities.  The work environments are much nicer, and the nature of many of the jobs have changed rather dramatically over time as well. 

The article points out that since 1980, the number of jobs requiring stronger social skills–namely interpersonal, communications, or management skills–has increased by 83%.  This increase was certainly driven to a large degree by the growth of the health care industry, where social skills are central, and the number of jobs have doubled over that time period.

During the same period since 1980, jobs requiring higher levels of analytical skills including critical thinking, mathematics, computer programming, and computer use have increased 77%.  Clearly automation in the workplace is creating a shift in the skill sets required of future employees that cannot be ignored.

The article states that 176 million jobs have emerged that require more social skills or analytical skills while the number of jobs requiring primarily manual or physical skills has changed relatively little over the same period.

To me this reality emphasizes two important points.  The first is that every high school graduate must develop strong communication and academic skills to be fully prepared for their futures because those are the increasing demands of the modern workplace.  And second, it is more important than ever before for students (with the encouragement of their families and the help and support of Mr. Cole) to take advantage of job shadowing experiences and spend half or full days observing and interacting with people doing the jobs they may be interested in pursuing. Every student needs to see firsthand what the jobs that interest them look like in action and what skills are required, and this is completely possible with job shadow opportunities available to all levels of HS students.  If you have a sophomore or junior, I would highly encourage you to work with Mr. Cole and your child to set up a couple job shadow experiences.  Students can explore job shadow opportunities in our county through Career Cruising by utilizing the Inspire Sheboygan site.  Early release days and in-service days are great days for students to set up a valuable job shadow experience without missing school.

Have a great week.

Scott