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7 steps to remote job career pathway

7 Steps to Remote Job Career Pathways

Gone are the days of ancient, static career pathways. If one of your parents was a Ford or Chrysler, Mechanic, Doctor or Lawyer, you probably followed in his or her footprints. Those days aren’t likely to come back. American Public Media Reports (APM), in the mid 1900s, for instance, public high school vocational education programs were used to corral low income students and graduates to the world of work. If you want to speed read to the 7 steps to creating a personalized remote job career pathway, jump to the bottom of this article.

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Students without parents holding solid manufacturing or service jobs didn’t have to think twice about the types of jobs or career paths they would pursue. It was already pre-determined so to say. The purpose of this article is to present the 7 steps to remote job career pathway. If you’d like to skip the history of vocational training, college admissions and traditional career pathing, head to the last section.

Advantages of  traditional career and vocational training pathways

The job advocates of the practice of confining groups of students into certain career pathways on account of family income may have had its advantages:

  • Easing the transition from school to work,
  • Giving students goals and a sense of purposeful next steps,
  • Lessening of potential of unemployment,
  • Reducing the possibility of resorting to illegal activities as a source of income, and
  • Lowering the probability of vagrancy.

Vocational job training programs out of vogue in the 1980s

By the 1980s, however, this practice of promoting vocational career pathways for students and high school graduates was frowned upon. Leading to a sea change of educators hyping the virtues of college degree attainment for the masses. Not just middle-income, wealthy or the elite. Education Week cited studies showing:

  • In 1980s, 32% high school professional counselors guiding all students toward higher education,
  • By 1990s, 66% of educators and counselors advised all students to attend college after high school graduation.

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Pressure on all students to obtain a college degree benefits universities

Unfortunately, experts now know this was probably self-interested advice given. Not for the betterment of the individual student, but perhaps, to help funnel the pipeline of able-bodied students into the higher education sector. This is a cynical take on the growth of the higher education market. For instance, Grandview Research estimates the worldwide market for high education will “grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% from 2024 to 2030 to reach USD 1,569.37 billion by 2030.”

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University endowments increased as result of demand for college degrees

As the demand for four-year and advanced college degrees proliferate, university endowments have risen also. The National Association of College and University Business Officers  collected data from almost 700 universities in 2023 revealing almost $1.0 Trillion US Dollars ($839.1 billion) assets held in endowments. What are university endowments? Are they defined and classified?

The American Council on Education  (ACE) provides this definition, “aggregation of assets invested by a college or university to support its educational and research mission in perpetuity.” Gosh, that’s difficult to understand.  Using laymen’s terms. Endowments are assets like cash, stock equities and bonds that are set aside for future use.

The only reason we sorta went on a tangent is that non-strategically obtaining a college degrees may serve to help the institutions and not the actual everyday college student and/or graduate. So, back to our point.  Using the college degree as an automatic entry point into a career may not be the most effective career pathway.

So, our point is this. Now more than ever. You are in charge of creating your path and finding your very own North Star.

Career and technical education programs in vogue for job seekers

While career and technical (CTE) education is back in vogue, there are only limited spaces for all of the world’s high school students and graduates. But if you find one in your area of career interest, do your best to enroll. According to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) career pathways programs are designed to:

  • Support student learning as they pursue education and career goals,
  • Include at least one postsecondary (after high school) credential, and
  • Give opportunities for entry or advancement in a particular occupation.

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Concentrated industries with career pathway programs

One of the reasons why we say, “you are in charge of finding your North Star,” is that formal career pathway programs may not yet be developed for your particular career area of interest. The US Department of Labor conducted a literature review of 81 research projects related to career pathways in 2017 and again in 2020. They found that career pathways projects and programs are still in existence. But, these formal training programs toward specific career paths were heavily concentrated in the following sectors:

  • Healthcare, 64%
  • Manufacturing, 47%
  • Information Technology, 30%

In addition to reviewing the career pathways projects introduced and implemented, US DOL also evaluated the effects of the career pathway programs. There were positive impacts on education, employment and/or earnings outcomes of the participants of career programs when researchers followed up with the participants one to four years later. Copies of the final reports are available here.

2 Tips of advice for job seekers without a formal career pathway program

In the absence of a formal career pathways program that is effective for helping you transition to a remote job, or any job, the  Financial Times, March 25, 2023  “World of Work: Guide for Schools” provides this sage advice for which we have adapted:

  • Promote yourself, be your own best advocate.
  • Don’t expect opportunities to come to you.

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Even the best career pathways program can be deficient

Why? Because even if you are lucky enough to be chosen as a participant in a career academy program, your teachers, professors programs may lack:

  • Up-to-date career contacts and network,
  • Professional experience in a new, innovative field (remote work, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality),
  • Full funding for effective career services programs, and
  • Guidance materials and latest research on innovative career fields.

And, if the remote job seeker is particularly in search of a remote job, it is clear that remote career paths are even murkier than on site career pathways. Flex Jobs reports that the freedom to work from virtually any physical location opens the gateway to more ambiguity. Further, the geographical expansiveness allows for so much more. Many more remote job opportunities can be presented when the job seeker isn’t tied down to a specific locale, state, region or even country.

7 Steps to Creating your Own Remote Job Career Pathway

However, with the added opportunities, it also means too that the remote job seeker and remote job careerist, can’t reasonably rely upon one supervisor or one company to help them chart a career pathway. To take the place of the patriarchal employer as a guiding force for career advancement and development, the remote job careerist must carefully plot a path toward advancement by:

  • Choosing to work remote in the location or region that offers the most remote job vacancies in your industry,
  • Gaining digital literacy experience while holding down an entry-point remote job,
  • Earning accolades from current remote job supervisor and employer,
  • Demonstrating accomplishments in the remote job currently held,
  • Becoming known (Linkedin Posts, etc) in the industry,
  • Applying for and obtaining a similarly related remote job to earn higher pay and more importantly higher level of duties and responsibilities,
  • Rinse and repeat.

So, once again. We reiterate. You are in charge of your own North Star. It’s up to each individual  remote job seeker to choose the destination that is right for them. And, most importantly, it’s up to each remote job careerist to chart the path that will take them there. Good luck!

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