The Career Arts: Making the Most of College, Credentials, and Connections

Princeton Univ. Nov. 2023. 160p. ISBN 9780691239798. $24.95. ED
Drawing on research, interviews, and case studies, Wildavsky (visiting scholar, Univ. of Virginia Sch. of Education and Human Development; The Great Brain Race) discusses the value of a college degree, nondegree paths, and the role social capital plays in career and monetary success. Wildavsky suggests several concepts that have been discussed before, such as instead of dividing education into college and vocational tracts, that the coupling of a liberal-arts background with targeted vocational/technical training offers the greatest chance of success. According to Wildavsky, schools should do more to advise students about financially viable careers, offer internships to bolster skill sets, present opportunities to develop career and social connections, and create national standards for non-credentialed programs. He also recommends that schools develop short-term training programs that students can count as credits for full degrees. Readers will learn eight essential skills for career success, such as completing college or looking for educational options that give them a mix of broad and targeted skills, taking advantage of employer educational benefits, and most importantly, preparing for the world as it is.
VERDICT Not all ideas are new in this book, but its positive tone and clear writing will appeal to students, parents, and educators.
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