Finding a Best Bet
As industry becomes more automated and transferability of skills becomes more critical, it is more important than ever that students have all the information they need to make good decisions about postsecondary and career pathways. To help young people find their "best bet", counselors critically need to understand the extent to which postsecondary programs provide the skills that employers are looking for. Jobs for the Future developed its “best bets framework,” a postsecondary and career exploration process that uses key labor market, postsecondary, and employer information to identify Best Bet postsecondary programs that:
- Meet students’ interests
- Are accessible to students
- Pay off quickly in a credential with value in the labor market today, and tomorrow
- Have evidence of retention, completion, and placement in well-paying jobs with advancement opportunities
The best bets process guided JFF’s development of 10 Best Bet profiles for New York City. It is also the foundation of MyBestBets.org, a web and mobile platform that helps students create their own Best Bet profile that maps out their individual Best Bet postsecondary and career pathway.
The Tools Necessary
With generous funding from the Pinkerton Foundation, Jobs for the Future partnered with a set of transfer high schools and high school equivalency programs in New York City to develop tools and materials that complement the best bets postsecondary and career exploration process. These resources were created to support staff using the paper Best Bet Profiles, the MyBestBets platform, or the framework itself, as part of a broader postsecondary and career exploration model.
- Incorporate labor market data more proactively into instruction and guidance around postsecondary and career exploration
- Help students explore why networking is essential, and develop strategies for growing their networks to identify high-impact postsecondary programs and "best fit" careers
- Improve students’ information and digital literacy skills
- Creatively and efficiently integrate the MyBestBets platform and/or the paper Best Bet profiles into activities on postsecondary and career exploration, including academic lessons
- Align the tasks in the MyBestBets platform to Common Core Standards
- Learn strategies for effectively identifying and engaging employers in educating students around postsecondary programs and careers.