Representatives from YouScience and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama/West Alabama Works unveiled data from a new talent pipeline report showcasing Tuscaloosa high school students’ aptitudes for careers in health care, information technology, construction, manufacturing, and distribution logistics.
The data was released during a presentation at the annual Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) conference in Long Beach, California. Compiled by edtech company YouScience, the reports analyze data collected from more than 4,100 Tuscaloosa-area high school students who used YouScience’s cutting-edge career aptitude program to identify how their abilities align with the local workforce. The tool is available for free to all Alabama middle and high schools.
“In order to ensure a bright future for West Alabama, we wanted to help our region’s high school students begin planning their future,” said Jim Page, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. “Through our partnership with YouScience, students can discover their career interests and aptitudes. We hope to then help them discover exciting jobs in their own backyards, developing an even stronger West Alabama.”
Unlike traditional interest-based career tools, YouScience is the only platform that captures real measures of students’ aptitudes and interests through a series of fun and engaging “brain games.” The program uses a scientific algorithm to provide students with a highly-personalized overview of their best-fit careers, along with detailed information on average salary, regional and national job demand, and education requirements. Key findings from the Tuscaloosa talent pipeline reports include:
- Simple interest surveys are misguiding talented Tuscaloosa students away from high demand careers.
- Male and female students demonstrated equal aptitudes for high demand jobs.
- Exposing students to careers for which they have a high aptitude fit builds interest and creates a larger, more diverse workforce.
- Nearly half of Tuscaloosa students have the aptitude for technical jobs in the health care industry, and nearly twice as many females have the talent for careers in both engineering and construction than have an initial interest.
There are two reports for the Tuscaloosa region: one for Tuscaloosa County Schools and one for Tuscaloosa City schools. “YouScience has been a welcome addition to Tuscaloosa City Schools. As educators, we are able to access students’ career interests and aptitude and place them in the appropriate courses to complement their YouScience results. We’re able to set our students up for lifelong learning and success through this resource,” said Tuscaloosa City Schools Director of College & Career Readiness Kelly Norstrom.