Career Learning is a Bipartisan Answer to Improving the American Economy

Parents in the U.S. recognize the value of career learning to address global economic competition from China, according to a survey released today. The research, commissioned by K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) and conducted through Qualtrics, a third party research provider, found an overwhelming majority of parents voiced a strong desire for Career Learning programs for their children, and maintain bipartisan belief that early workforce preparation will bolster the American economy. The majority of parents view this type of learning as a potentially vital component to their children’s education that can better prepare them to enter a rapidly changing, tech-enabled job market.

“We’re witnessing a significant contingent of parents affirming their confidence in the success of career-oriented education,” said Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions at K12. “On both sides of the aisle, Americans agree that we must invest in education systems at the local level to prepare students for a competitive job market, and in order for our economy to compete with China and other emerging economies on a global scale.”

K12’s research found strong support for career learning among parents:

  • Career learning is a bipartisan answer to improving the American economy.
    • 88% of parents agree that career learning programs can help prepare the future workforce to contribute to the American economy (less than 2% of parents disagree).
    • Similarly, both Republicans (91% agree) and Democrats (90% agree) believe this to be the case.
  • Parents perceive career learning as a solution to the growing threat of China, which currently has a faster-growing and more lucrative tech industry than the U.S.
    • 78% of parents agree that the U.S. should invest in career learning at the K-12 education level in order to address this threat (only 4% of parents disagree).
    • The overwhelming majority of both Republicans (80%) and Democrats (83%) agree that the U.S. should invest in career learning.

“An investment in career readiness education would help the U.S. mitigate the threat of foreign competition, while helping millions of students better prepare for careers in fields that are critical to our economy,” said Dr. McAlmont. “Career learning is an academic solution for an economic problem, and we must address the opportunity to bring more students these education options with utmost urgency.”

K12’s poll was conducted between September 9-15, 2020, among a national sample of 1,027 parents of students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of parents based on gender, ethnicity education level, income, and student grade level. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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