CCI Associate Dean Ebe Randeree Presents at FCPN

FCPNCollege of Communication and Information Associate Dean Ebe Randeree presented at the Florida Career Pathways Network (FCPN) annual symposium held in Jensen Beach, Florida from January 10-12, 2024. FCPN is a network of high school counselors, career and technology education (CTE) specialists, and community college career counselors.

The goal of the FCPN symposium is to explore career and CTE pathways for students and give them the best advice on how to move forward with their choices. This was Randeree’s third year presenting at the symposium.

Randeree focused his presentation on what career pathways and advising will look like in 2030. Given the high debt associated with universities, he noted many people are looking for alternative ways to start their careers. Addressing this, Randeree looked at “New Collar,” people who go straight into the workforce from high school through certifications, primarily in tech.

“The challenge for us is identifying what pathway is most appropriate for each student,” said Randeree. With New Collar jobs available, he noted a challenge, “Students that go straight into the workforce without a degree, end up topping out at some point on how far they can advance in the company.” He noted at some point they must get a degree, but this new collar work presents an opportunity for students to gain experience to make more informed career decisions.

Introducing another challenge, Randeree shared “You have to get the students information much earlier, like in elementary and early middle school, about career paths (and salaries and industry outlooks and cost of education) because they are making choices much earlier in their life.” As students make critical decisions at a younger age, he urged career counselors and parents to advise their students to explore their interests and pursue them but also to do their research. He stressed focusing on your passion, but also looking at the cost of a major versus your starting salary.

Randeree recommends that students gain work experience through internships, apprenticeships, and job shadows before going to college. He explained, “Find something you’re interested in, follow it, and then pivot and follow something else; the key is ongoing learning throughout your career.”