Where the Jobs Will Be in 2017

Last week, Time magazine included the above graphic in an article on the Economy. The graph, based on statistics from the US National Center for Education Statistics, predicts that by 2017, some of our fastest growing industries will be things like social networking sites, street-traffic-info providers, green construction, and social-network gaming.

I want all of our students at Sanborn Regional to leave us prepared to be successful in college and beyond. I want them to be so well prepared that they have the opportunity to become leaders in their field. With every year that passes, understanding what it will take to be prepared is getting harder and harder to predict if you are simply trying to chase the hottest job markets. The industries that are listed above may be hot in 2017, but who knows what 2018 will bring? Half of the industries on this chart weren't even on the radar five years ago. Our world is changing at a rapid pace. As a high school, we know that the best way to prepare our kids for this future is to make sure they have the skills necessary to interact and live in their brave new world.

With our shift to competency-based learning a couple years ago, we can now focus our efforts on important life-long skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration that will help our kids navigate and interact in the future. In all of our courses and academic programs, we are engaging our students in learning at higher levels. Gone are the days when we would determine how well our kids learned a subject by giving them a multiple choice test. In order to be considered "proficient" at Sanborn, our kids need to engage in inquiry tasks. They need to be prepared to develop hypotheses, analyze data, and synthesize what they know. Our kids need to engage in performance tasks that are designed to help them demonstrate how they can meet and exceed the standards that our curriculum has set. They need to be prepared to connect knowledge from different subjects and apply it to real world situations. Our efforts to redesign Sanborn Regional High School are focused on these very ideas.

As a student or a parent reading this post, I urge you to look at the industries that listed above. Which ones appeal to you? Which ones do you know the least about? High school is a time to explore different subjects in order to see which will be most meaningful to you. Next year at Sanborn, we have made some significant changes to our course offerings to help better address these new industries. Here are some courses and programs you may want to explore:

Sophomore Year: If you are going to begin your sophomore year this coming fall, you will find that your experience will look very different from students who have come before you. We are retooling our sophomore program into a project-based learning experience that will connect Biology, Civics, and Language Arts. Science will be a huge focus of this work.

Technology: We have completely revamped our technology offerings to include an increased focus on online tools, gaming, Internet publishing and broadcasting, and engineering skills.

Going green: Our courses in both Science and the Vocational area are looking at ways to embed more "green" topics such as green construction and alternative energy

Our world is changing at a rapid pace. It is an exciting time to be in high school, and an exciting time to be a part of a revolution that will change the way we do everything - from school to work to life itself. Are YOU ready for the revolution? I know I am, but only because I am confident that our school is preparing the leaders of tomorrow.


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