Map to the Middle Class

Questions at work

The Map to the Middle Class is a project that will explore what it takes to get to the middle class in an evolving economy

The story of work is one of deepening economic polarization. Good jobs are disappearing for people with only a high-school diploma, while wage and employment gains increasingly accrue to people with higher education. In this series, we’ll explore how trends such as automation could reshape the types of jobs that are available. And we’ll find out how schools can help young people prepare for a landscape where middle-class life is increasingly out of reach.

But to do that, we need to hear from you.

Here’s how it works: You ask. We report. We share the answer.

You could ask questions such as: Is my job safe from automation? Is getting a four-year college degree worth the cost? Are good jobs for people without college degrees ever coming back?

So what questions do you have about school, training programs and the path to the middle class? Ask your question here

Wes McEntee works on one of several manufacturing machines students use at Vermont Technical College.

Colleges are adding programs in a once-decimated industry — manufacturing

But few young people are seeking out the skills to fill these jobs

Automation will boost demand for science-and-tech skills as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Study: The U.S. isn’t doing enough to prepare students for the automation age

The country ranks ninth when it comes to upgrading curricula and teacher training for the labor market of the future

The United States Capitol. A House bill to revamp the Higher Education Act has moved out of committee for debate, while the Senate is still discussing reform ideas in committee.

OPINION: To succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, today’s students need equity-driven policy

How high-quality data can drive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

For-profit colleges lose when two-year colleges offer B.A. degrees

Traditional four-year schools see boost in degrees when community colleges compete

Sarat Atobajeun started as an apprentice with Zurich Insurance last August. She said she appreciates the stability of the job and the diversity of the tasks she’s learning.

Are apprenticeships the new on-ramp to good jobs?

The earn-and-learn model could spread, but the Trump administration has done too little to facilitate its growth

Laquon Jackson receives help from his Introduction to the Health Care Professions instructor, Elizabeth Dalianis.

An Rx for poverty? A career in nursing

Most of the growing health-care occupations are low-wage, but nursing offers a robot-proof path to the middle class

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Revamped and rigorous, career and technical education is ready to be taken seriously

How one New Hampshire school is preparing students in the face of a looming labor crisis

In an effort to get more girls at Red Bank to participate in the cybersecurity challenge, teacher Mandy Galante, center, recruited girls from nontech classes, including a dozen from a creative writing class. “We want to get the girls who never even thought of doing this,” she said.

Jobs in cybersecurity are exploding: Why are women locked out?

How high schools are trying to attract girls to this lucrative tech field

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