YEP Voices: Mapping the Young Education Professional’s Career Pathway, a report on the recent survey of 550 young education professionals from across the country—from classroom teachers and school leaders to nonprofit researchers and government analysts—revealed much about the intersection of the millennial generation and the next generation of education leaders. Much as we found last year, their desire to do good is lasting: 98.6 percent of young education professionals see themselves staying in the field in the next decade. Yet two-thirds plan to swap sectors along the way.
For example, fewer than half (about 40 percent) of classroom educators and school leaders plan to stay in a school setting or move to district leadership. And, only about 30 percent of those in administration, which includes district and state education agency staff, see themselves staying in these roles, with almost 40 percent planning to become leaders at nonprofit or for-profit organizations. Only a handful of all young education professionals plan to stay or move into the classroom.
While about a fifth of researchers saw themselves staying in this role, an almost-equal amount plan to move into school district leadership in 10 years. The least likely to sector swap? Young professionals in policy/advocacy, a third of whom believe they will be in non-profit leadership in the next decade.
On one hand, this is positive news: Many young professionals are gaining meaningful knowledge and skills, which they then want to apply in another sector in the field. School leaders become education entrepreneurs. Teachers provide technical assistance and training through nonprofits. Policy analysts join a district central office to implement reforms. This fluidity offers promise for lessons learned in one setting to be leveraged in another. This is how change happens.
Yet, it also shines a light on what we as a field tend to ignore—the silos that still exist between education, policy, practice and research. While it may be conventional wisdom that connecting the dots between these silos is necessary to ensure education policies are well-informed and then well-implemented, YEP Voices gives us yet another reason to raze these silos—to support our next generation of education leaders and the students, schools and systems they will be responsible for in coming years.
Kate Blosveren Kreamer, guest blogger, is co-founder of Young Education Professionals and one of its local chapters, YEP-DC. Reach her via email or Twitter.