What’s in store for 2024? To share some perspective from outside the classroom, District Administration asked vendors from across the K12 spectrum to forecast the college and career trends that will shape their spaces—and yours—in the coming year. And one of the biggest forces impacting education in 2024 will be labor shortages—and not just in the classroom.
Pressures on the wider U.S. workforce caused by a lack of workers with the requisite skills will drive more collaboration between K12 schools and employers, say product developers who are forecasting 2024’s biggest education trends.
These college and career trends will also drive a surge in popularity in CTE programs. “As the talent shortage concern shifts to the state level, 2024 will be a year of increased collaboration between employers, schools and government agencies,” says Jeri Larsen, the chief operating officer of YouScience, a career guidance platform for students.
“The goal will be to create a more responsive and adaptable education system that ensures the workforce remains well-equipped to meet the evolving demands of the job market.”
District leaders will be updating curriculums with a deeper focus on future-ready skills and adding more work-based learning, STEM education and vocational training programs.
“These efforts will be aimed at equipping students with the skills that are in high demand in the job market and promoting a broader range of career paths,” Larsen notes. “With a rapidly changing job market and evolving skill requirements, schools and education systems will find themselves under increased scrutiny to ensure that students are adequately prepared for the workforce.
Employers should grow ever more eager to collaborate with schools and districts, predicts Hans Meeder, a senior fellow for education and workforce education at YouScience and a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education.
“Yet, a challenge lies in the limited experience of schools and districts in systematically collaborating with business partners,” Meeder points out. “Many are still navigating this uncharted territory, actively searching for tools, guidance and real-world examples to establish partnerships that are not only effective but also sustainable.”
What other issues will be top of mind for K12 leaders and their teams in 2024? Here are predictions, hopes and forecasts from solution providers that cover a range of education topics.