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Familiarizing youth with opportunities and the various paths to a successful career.

Would you have been able to choose a career when you were fifteen years old?

Part of inspiring and connecting youth to achieve a future beyond imagination is helping them expand their consideration of what’s possible. We get continuous reinforcement through the results and impact of our Youth Solutions programs and services, that providing career-focused experiences allows young people to explore options and open their minds to more possibilities.

According to the OECD PISA exam, which measures 15-year olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges, when asked what career they expect to have at age 30, one in five U.S. 15-year-olds (22%) could not name a career. Of those that could name a career, the most popular career choice among boys is “Athlete or Sports Players.”

While it’s wonderful to dream of being like your favorite athlete, the likelihood of making a career playing sports is a far stretch for most youth. A study conducted in collaboration by Amazon Future Engineer and Gallup, found three critical insights related to data associated with careers for the future:

  1. Students overlook a number of high opportunity careers.

  2. While postsecondary education is extremely important to career successes, it is not the only path.

  3. Diverse populations are underrepresented in high potential careers.

As part of our youth programming, not only do we address the issues that Amazon and Gallup found in their research, we partner with businesses who are looking to invest in young adult’s career paths by informing them of career opportunities.

For those youth who overlook a number of high opportunity jobs, we have found that they may have a lack familiarity with a broad range of potential careers. Through our Jobs for Michigan Graduates (JMG) program, our dedicated JMG specialists work with youth aged 11-24, providing them with interactive instruction and career exploration. These interactions inform, inspire and connect youth to a variety of opportunities after graduation.

We recognize that without a high school diploma, Michigan’s youth are 59% more likely to live below the poverty line. Our Youth Solutions Select (YS Select) service helps schools engage and retain students by integrating career development into all aspects of their education. When young people can see how their learning can directly benefit them in their future occupations, students can make more informed choices about their educational options.

Postsecondary education is not the only path. There are several high-paying occupations that are accessible to students without a bachelor’s degree. We encourage youth to explore the multiple paths that lead to successful careers, whether it be certifications, accreditations, apprenticeships or even advanced degrees - whatever path best supports their career aspirations.

As Amazon and Gallup found, we too understand that diverse populations are underrepresented in high potential careers. Serving the entire state of Michigan, we recognize the importance of providing equitable access to education and employment. In order for our youth to be successful, we must make it a priority to empower growth and excellence for all. We start within our own organization and carry that pledge through everything we do. You can learn more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on our website.

We can’t do it alone. It’s important that business and industry leaders who want to secure future talent help to inform youth of careers that are available and invest in opportunities that encourage them to consider their career options. We encourage you to get involved by learning more about the successful outcomes our youth participants are achieving and invest in our programs so that we can positively impact more young people across the state of Michigan. Interested in learning more? Contact us today!


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