Why now? What now?
Studies show that Oklahoma currently faces a large work skills gap. In 2016, approximately half (46 percent) of the Oklahoma workforce had either attained only a high school diploma or dropped out of high school altogether. However, by 2025, 77 percent of Oklahoma jobs will require some form of education beyond high school.
It’s a sobering fact: Few future jobs will require only a high school education.
We have work to do.
To meet Oklahoma’s future needs, we need an additional one-fourth of our workforce to obtain postsecondary training in order to be employment-ready.
We want all students to be successful after high school. Success means that a student can obtain gainful employment that matches his or her passions and interests while still providing a living wage.
The need for students to plan for college or career while still in school is clear. Thankfully, beginning in the 2019-20 school year, all Oklahoma students will complete an Individual Career Academic Plan, often referred to as “ICAP.” Learn more about ICAPs and what they’ll include here.
During this important work, we will also:
- Redefine high school by encouraging advanced coursework or dual enrollment
- Develop and align career pathways with real-time labor market information specific to Oklahoma
- Increase concurrent or dual enrollment with earned college credit and career certification for students still in high school
- Connect schools directly with business and industry
- Prepare more students for Oklahoma’s wealth-generating jobs in Aerospace & Defense, Agriculture & Bioscience, Energy, Information & Financial Services and Transportation & Distribution
Preparing our students for life after high school will be a student-driven, adult-supported process. Students can’t do it alone, and we need your help.
Everyone in Oklahoma has a stake in ensuring our kids have a successful future. We need educators, family, business and community to come together to support Oklahoma students as they work toward achieving their individual goals and dreams.
It is our students’ future and it is our future – a future built on hope and opportunity. We can do
Help students achieve their potential by exploring the resources below: