Teaching Students About the World of Work

Teaching Students About the World of Work

A Challenge to Postsecondary Educators


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Teaching Students About the World of Work argues that educational institutions—especially two-year and four-year public institutions serving low-income students—need to make the topic of employment a central element in their educational offerings. Indeed, the book demonstrates that a far greater emphasis on teaching students about the work world will be necessary if colleges are to give disadvantaged students a realistic chance for professional and economic success. The recommendation is a reconfiguration of postsecondary education that represents a paradigm shift in career preparation and learning.

Editors Nancy Hoffman and Michael Lawrence Collins and their authors provide a rich and comprehensive view of both today’s work world and the challenges facing many young people who are determined to find a place within it. The book offers detailed accounts of how several community colleges have put employment at the center of the curriculum; provides practical insights into the twenty-first century labor market and ways to improve the choices and outcomes for low-income job seekers; and explores the daunting structural barriers to securing successful and satisfying employment.

Throughout all its chapters, the book highlights increasing inequalities—in both opportunities and outcomes—within our society. In order to redress those disparities, it argues, postsecondary educators will need to offer enhanced insights and sophistication to disadvantaged young people preparing to enter and navigate the work world. An urgent but unfailingly reasonable book for our times, Teaching Students About the World of Work will be required reading for educators determined to create practical opportunities for young people in search of good employment and better lives.