Building a Better Mousetrap These Days Requires Right Thinking and Right Skills

Image credit: Brian Sullivan

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men”—Martin Luther King Jr.

Just recently, I read a newspaper article entitled, Few Employers Hiring.  In this economy, that is no secret.  What I did find telling was one comment that was written in response to the article:

“There are jobs in … But that does mean everyone is qualified for those jobs? There are several engineering jobs open for example. But contrary to some comments, jobs are not designed based on who is looking for a job. Not everyone has the qualifications to fill the good jobs…”

While this article is from a newspaper that is not in this area, this article could very well be about Any Place, USA.  Jobs are scarce—that is true.  However, and there is evidence to back this claim, possession of the necessary qualifications for existing available jobs are even scarcer.

As an Educational Consultant, I have had an opportunity to do many things.  One of those things was to write and implement a curriculum for a Department of Defense Middle School course entitled, Pathways to Careers.  The goal of the course was not only to allow students an opportunity to be exposed to various occupations, but,  this course allowed students an opportunity to better understand the skills and the necessary qualifications a person must have an order to be considered for those occupations.

I  also made sure there was a component in the course that would allow students an opportunity to look within themselves, examine their interests, and create a personal development plan for courses that they would need to take in high school in an effort to see their career aspirations come to fruition.  In other words, students took a look at their true selves, determined their interests and abilities, and used that information to determine what occupations best suited them.  Then we, the students and I, collaborated to draw a map of ways the student to get there. Sometimes, this was not an easy task, but, the students and I had fun getting there!

When I was a little girl, people were always asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Many encouraged me to dream. Some dared me to dream bigger.  Somebody even told me that it was my job, once I “made it,” to reach back and save someone just as somebody saved me.

So, it is with each of us.  Not only should we ask the youth about what they want to be when they become adults, we have to guide them on their path.  These students are going to need to know themselves and what they’d like to do.  They are going to have to have some clear understanding of what it takes to reach their goals.  These students are going to have to be exposed to the necessary information, people, and places that will support goal obtainment.  That means they are going to have to take the right courses in high school, and, they have to understand how what they are doing now—classes, courses, and volunteer opportunities—will support future career goals.

As we become a world that is benefitting from all sorts of technological advances, we can do so much more than guide missiles.  But, in our guiding of missiles and more, have we forgotten to guide mankind?  Mankind is going to need emotional, mental, academic, and spiritual support.  In a world of full of apps that can do so many things, we cannot forget as we guide more than missiles, we have to also guide the man (kind).

For more information on occupational outlooks and qualifications, please consult The Occupational Outlook Handbook at .

By Cheryl Harris Curtis

About the Author: Cheryl Harris Curtis is an Educational Consultant/Writer that is a candidate in the world’s only Developmental Education Doctoral program. Believing that her personal mission is to inspire, uplift and empower, she encourages others to work to do the same.  Feel free to contact her at or follow her on twitter @educationreform.


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