Oklahoma leaders address education-to-employment pipeline challenges

Rapid advances in technology are continually changing workforce needs and how students today need to be educated for the jobs of tomorrow.

The first day on the job is the day workers begin retraining to learn new skills, Steve Hahn, president of AT&T Oklahoma, said Thursday at a workforce and education summit in downtown Oklahoma City.

“What that looks like in five years, I have no idea,” Hahn said.

Education and business leaders gathered to address those challenges at the Age of Agility summit presented by America Succeeds and Oklahoma Achieves.

Of the 20 jobs expected to be most in demand in the next decade, only three require a bachelor’s degree, said keynote speaker Jody Kent, a vice president at Universal Technical Institute, which has campuses in nine states.

“We’ve been told a degree is what’s needed for success,” Kent said. “The traditional college path is an excellent option for many kids.”

But families may be overlooking trade and technical education that can provide rewarding careers for students, she said.

“When we support them, they can do extraordinary things,” Kent said. “Developing the workforce America needs will provide careers kids can enjoy.”

Click here to read K.S. McNutt’s complete article published on the News OK website. 

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