National data indicates that there are 28 million middle skill jobs – those requiring postsecondary degrees – currently available in the U.S., with these jobs paying close to $40,000 per year on average. Data also shows that over the next 10 years, 14 million new jobs requiring middle skills – a 50% increase – will be created, with those needing STEM skills the highest paid of those jobs. In New York City alone, there were 300,000 vacant jobs in January 2013, most requiring middle skills.
To be hired for these jobs, students must be “career-ready.” Students are considered career-ready when they have the technical and workplace skills necessary to fill high-wage, in-demand, entry-level jobs with real career potential.
While there are many steps that are required to prepare young people to garner these skilled jobs, the design process for the P-TECH model for 9-14 schools begins with a critical and innovative approach to ensure that the curriculum and scope and sequence will meet the promise of “career-ready” for participating students. This approach is called Skills Mapping. Skills Mapping is the mechanism that links in-demand jobs with a highly-skilled workforce. Skills Mapping offers a perspective and foundational requirements to develop an integrated six-year educational program to address academic, technical and workplace skills by mapping backwards from real 21st century careers. Because this process is directly informed by actual job requirements, it is the lynchpin for connecting the best employment opportunities to a series of rigorous classroom learning objectives.
To learn more about the P-TECH 9-14 Skills Mapping Process, please download the Skills Mapping Guide.