Apprenticeships can give today’s students a leg up

By Scott Laband and Noel Ginsburg

COLORADO POLITICS

Children sitting in second-grade classrooms today will graduate from high school in 2030. That’s only 10 years away, but we can’t predict what kind of world we need to prepare them for. Experts say roughly 85 percent of the jobs that will be available in 2030 have not been invented yet.

Jordan Tehranchi is already in the workforce. He starts his day just like any other professional at HomeAdvisor — he walks through the doors around 9:00 a.m. to work through emails and the back end of the company’s website and user portals. There is nothing flashy or unusual about his work.

Except that Jordan is 17 years old.

In his second year of a three-year CareerWise apprenticeship, Jordan started this job as a senior in high school. He started by working in the call-center support and quickly moved to solving more advanced information technology-related problems. Soon, he will work on even more complex IT issues and could become a Windows administrator. His goal is to earn a degree in computer science.

In today’s ever-evolving economy, employees and students must learn essential soft skills (such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving) and technical skills (such as coding and software design) to thrive in the workplace. A professional apprenticeship like Jordan’s delivers rigorous, relevant education through experiential learning — learning which isn’t always available in the four walls of the traditional academic classroom.

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