The Importance of Career-Focused Support Throughout the Student Lifecycle

As economic changes and emerging technologies usher in a new, more dynamic future of work, we must prepare to support students throughout a lifetime of learning. Harvard recently convened a group of education experts to discuss solutions for what we’re calling “The 60 Year Curriculum,” which envisions education and career development as a continuum of learning services.

InsideTrack CEO Pete Wheelan, one of our invited experts, led a session on the intersection of learners and employers.  He also authored the following paper, which offers pragmatic strategies for institutional leaders on supporting the career development of students throughout the learning lifecycle.

— Huntington D. Lambert, Dean, Harvard Continuing Education and University Extension

Engaging students early and often in career exploration and readiness discussions is crucial to prepare them to make wise investments in their futures and navigate dynamic career paths throughout their entire lives.

Targeted support not only aids students in making more informed decisions, it also increases their odds of completing a credential. This is particularly true for first-generation, low-income and other underrepresented student populations, who often lack access to the career resources, social capital and networks that many of their classmates take for granted.

As access to college has expanded to reach more people from varied backgrounds and income levels, the needs and goals of students have changed. The job market is also rapidly evolving, with new roles and industries constantly being created as many old jobs quickly become obsolete. At the same time, there is an increased push from both the government and corporations for students to emerge from educational programs career-ready, and the cost of education continues to climb. It’s not surprising that many students need and want support and resources to identify career goals and create strategies to reach them.

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