Texas is experiencing rapid growth, with the state’s economy ranking as the ninth largest in the world and adding more jobs than any other state in 2022. Traditional sectors like energy still play an important role, but the growing technology industry ecosystem in the state is driving demand for qualified workers. To meet this demand, the future of Texas depends on ensuring today’s students have the skills necessary to perform in-demand jobs.
Texas Growth Adding Jobs
Today, YouScience®, the leading technology provider dedicated to closing the growing skills gap between students and employers, released a new piece of research, “The 2023 Texas Student Ability and Economic Outlook Report.” The report’s findings indicate that today’s Texas students have a wide range of aptitudes that are directly in line with industries driving economic growth across the state like Computer and Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, and Health Science. Despite possessing the natural aptitudes to develop skills in these fields, many students exhibit a lack of interest and awareness about their career. This gap between aptitudes and interests indicates that there is a significant career exposure gap.
The findings are based on anonymized data from more than 25,000 Texas middle and high school students who completed the YouScience® Aptitude & Career Discovery assessment in the academic year 2021-2022. This data was compared and contrasted against the Career Clusters found in the National Career Clusters Framework, which represents 79 Career Pathways.
It is essential for students to discover their aptitudes early and use that knowledge to make well informed choices about academic and professional pathways. While many Texas school systems have adopted this approach, based on the aptitude-interest gap, there is clearly room for improvement across the state. Consequently, many students remain unaware of their aptitudes. This leaves them to pursue only the careers they have learned about through informal means like media, friends, and family; their lack of understanding about their aptitudes prevents them from pursuing the career paths that could be a good fit for them.
Key findings show that Texas students have:
- 4.2x more aptitude for Computers & Technology careers than interest.
- 4x more aptitude for Advanced Manufacturing careers than interest.
- 1.6x more aptitudes for Health Science careers than interest.
In addition, unconscious biases may be preventing both female and male students from pursuing careers that they have a natural aptitude for. These invisible barriers could be the result of societal expectations or cultural norms. As a result, many students miss out on opportunities to excel in their chosen fields due to these perceived obstacles. The report shows that Texas:
- Female students have 6.3x more aptitude for Computer & Technology careers than interest.
- Male students have 2.4x more aptitude for Health Science careers than interest compared to female students who only have 1.5x more aptitude for Health Science careers than interest.
“It’s encouraging to see that Texas students have the natural aptitudes to compete in the state’s growing economy, but we must ensure that Texas’s schools and colleges remains at the forefront of preparing them and helping them develop skills for success,” said Hans Meeder, Senior Fellow for Education and Workforce Education at YouScience, and the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education. “However, education can’t go it alone. Schools and colleges need business and industry to play an active role in supporting student preparation. It is critical that business and industry consistently provide education partners with detailed insight into the skills and knowledge needed in the workplace so that today’s and tomorrow’s students can be encouraged and directed to explore paths that lead to in-demand, well-paying and fulfilling careers.”
Meeder offers a set of actionable key considerations and recommendations to tackle the career exposure gap and bridge the divide between education and industry. To see these recommendations as well as the full findings of the report, please visit: The 2023 Texas Student Ability and Economic Outlook Report.
To learn more about YouScience, visit www.youscience.com.
YouScience® is the leading technology provider dedicated to solving the skills and exposure gap crisis for students and employers. Its end-to-end platform, YouScience® Brightpath, connects education with career applications designed to help students unlock their potential for future pathways. YouScience leverages proven research, artificial intelligence, and industry input. Individuals identify their aptitudes, validate their skills and knowledge, and get matched with real-world educational and career pathways in high-demand occupations. YouScience is the preferred choice of individuals, parents, educators, and counselors to guide and support educational and career pathways, currently serving more than 7,000 educational institutions and millions of users nationwide.
SOURCE YouScience Texas Growth Adding Jobs
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