American education matters self-assembled career

In July of 2015, then Secretary of Defense Ash Carter gave a stunning speech on the future of military careers. Recognizing career paths were no longer shaped like ladders to climb up, Carter envisioned a bold new path for military families:

“If we’re going to stay the best, the U.S. Armed Forces has to be an attractive, inviting, supportive place to serve for families of all kinds.  The world is changing.  The labor market is changing.  Younger generations and young families want flexibility and choice in their career paths.  We know that.

More and more, we’re seeing they want to be on a jungle gym, where you advance by moving around and having new experiences; not an escalator, where you get on and wait your turn.”

Department of Defense has to keep up, Carter continued – and so do schools. Recently Hedgehog Review, a publication on contemporary culture, added a new layer to dialogue. Writer Carrie M. Lane wrote an article on the “Self-Assembled Career,” adding to themes of both career exploration but also adaptation to a new market.

This raises the question on what schools can do to prepare children for a new market that is both uncertain but also full of possibility. How can we prepare American children to think outside the box, experiment and take part in forging their own path in education so they can do it later as adults?