The ROI of Investing in Career Development – Coalition for Career Development
If we hired just one certified Career Development Counselor for each of the more than 40,000 secondary and post-secondary schools and colleges, the total tab could easily climb to just over $4 billion. Equipping all schools with the necessary current career development technology would cost billions more. Scaling up work-based learning so that it was available to far more students would similarly require a large investment of both money and dedicated professionals from business and industry. While some of these objectives could be met by refocusing existing resources and accountability systems on the central priority of career readiness, there is no doubt we also will need to allocate new resources to fully meet the challenge.
It would be shortsighted, however, to just focus on the price tag. For the return on these investments would far outweigh the costs. Just consider how this effort could transform key sectors of our society:
K-12 Education: Career development would help create a Renaissance in America’s high schools, which have long been criticized as outmoded. By focusing on helping students find their career purpose, our K-12 schools would gain new energy and direction. This would help elevate the teaching profession, while producing an enormous increase in the effectiveness of our schools in preparing students to pursue the career pathway of their choice.
Post-Secondary Education: Career development could revolutionize a system now plagued by high dropout rates, staggering increases in student debt, and widespread dissatisfaction among students and employers alike regarding the education that is being offered. We would expect decreases in drop-out rates, increases in the numbers of students graduating on time, a reduction in student debt and an increase in the number of graduates equipped to transition to full-time employment in careers they had carefully and strategically chosen, and which offer viable pathways to economic independence.
Business and Industry: In a world in which a company’s workforce is a key to its success, this new system would be an enormous boon to American business and industry. Companies would be far better able to meet their labor demands with workers who not only possess the requisite technical skills, but who are truly engaged in the mission of helping their employer succeed.
Our Nation: Ultimately, these reforms have the potential to revitalize a society now torn by deep divisions, reduced economic mobility, and a deep fear by many that the American Dream is dead. Far more students would successfully enter the workforce in careers that give meaning and purpose to their lives and that allow them to achieve economic independence. Greater career satisfaction, a major component of personal well-being, will contribute to stronger parenting and more stable families. Career development would increase economic mobility by ensuring low-income and at-risk youth are exposed to the full range of economic opportunities in America. This would help enhance appreciation for the dignity of work, and the contributions made by all key industries. Moreover, it would help revive the hope, energy, and optimism that always have been America’s greatest strengths. Simply put: Everyone benefits!