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Career and College Readiness

I had an interesting conversation this past weekend with my doctoral cohort group (great group of people) regarding state and federal accountability packages.  One point of contention and dialogue for us was centered around the phrase “Career and College readiness”.

Most of the conversation initially by my colleagues related to getting higher ACT scores for students, taking more math courses, more English courses, enhancing their study habits and so forth.   My initial comment to the group was not about ‘more, more, more’ but rather making the material they currently study more relevant.  Good ideas were shared about not allowing seniors to ‘take the easy route’ in their senior year (loading them up with electives and release time as opposed to taking higher level math, science, etc).

But here is what I struggle with – one member in the group stated ‘those kids who aren’t going to college need to get into the vocational wing and get themselves career ready’.  Here is when I chose to chime in with my personal/professional beliefs about the phrase ‘Career and College ready’.

First, here is the tweet I put on Twitter immediately after I made the comments I am about to share…

Darrin Peppard @DarrinPeppard

‘why don’t we see the connection between college and career – too many think either/or – it must be both or its job readiness you talk about’

Ok – let’s talk about the difference between a job and a career…a job is something you ‘go to’ you ‘have to do’.  A job is defined by Webster as…

job1    [job] Show IPA noun, verb, jobbed, job·bing, adjective



a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price: She gave him the job of mowing the lawn.

a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.

anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility: It is your job to be on time.

an affair, matter, occurrence, or state of affairs: to make the best of a bad job.

the material, project, assignment, etc., being worked upon: The housing project was a long and costly job.
Meanwhile, career is defined as…
ca·reer   [kuh-reer] Show IPA



an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer.

a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking: His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.

success in a profession, occupation, etc.

a course, especially a swift one.
interesting the difference between the two statements…
    key words:  job-obligated, task, duty, assignment
                          career-occupation, profession, special training, phase of life
My point is simple – LET’S PREPARE KIDS FOR CAREERS!!!  NOT JOBS!   we want our students to be the best they can be and enjoy the rest of their lives, not be obligated to the rest of their lives.
And that will end my soapbox rant…
As always – yours in education
Darrin M Peppard




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