Parents look to the school system to not only provide their children with an academic education, but also to help prepare them to be successful in their chosen careers. The path a student takes after high school is not as clearly defined as it once was. Depending on the intended career path, some students will want to pursue a four-year college degree, while others may need an associate degree, professional certification, or another type of post-secondary training instead. Since today’s jobs—and the education required for them—vary widely, it’s more important than ever that students think about their career goals before graduating high school.

Unfortunately, some students are not receiving adequate career education while in high school and as a result are unsure and unprepared for the next step in their educational journey and eventual career. A recent survey shows that the public is becoming increasingly concerned over the skills gap that may occur when a student doesn’t receive career education early on. Industry experts are also alarmed at the nationwide skills gap affecting the economy, which is the gap between what employers require from their workers and the skills their potential employees can offer.

In March of this year, Edge Research and K12 Inc. conducted a survey of the general public in the U.S., including parents of school-age children specifically, to determine overall perceptions of career education in high school and the skills gap issue in this country. The majority of respondents agreed that career education is important, both for college and career-bound students.

Those surveyed also thought that programs with online learning combined with in-class instruction would be particularly helpful. According to the survey report, titled “State of the Skills Gap,” 87 percent said “access to career-specific coursework online would help more people succeed in the workforce.”

If you want to be sure your child is better prepared for college and the workforce, consider a school that offers some form of career technical education (CTE). Visit K12.com to learn about K12’s Destinations Career Academies and the career programs offered at K12-powered online public schools, which help prepare students to be ready for the workforce and/or college.

The following infographic highlights the survey’s key findings.

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