THE BLOG
12/11/2014 04:20 pm ET Updated Feb 10, 2015

Tell Your Story: Do-It-Yourself Pathways From School to Career

Despite the constraints our generation has imposed, we're seeing young people taking control and charting a course to careers they love. Powered by digital learning, Generation Do-It-Yourself ("GenDIY") is combatting unemployment and the rising costs of education by paving personal pathways through K-12 and postsecondary to find and create jobs. Our #GenDIY blog series on The Huffington Post and GettingSmart.com is cataloging their stories and generating a field guide for the new learning landscape. Were you labeled "nontraditional" or "alternative"? Do you, at some point, have tell the people in your life that you had to do things your own way? Did you stumble upon a shortcut to a cool job? If so, we'd like to share your story. Are you guide, teacher, administrator, policy maker or parent helping Millennials chart their own course? Are you building tools, starting schools, or creating incentive pools to boost youth employability? If so, we'd like to share your story. We'd love to include a contribution from you and a GenDIY learner you know! Specifically, we'd like a short blog (400-800 words) and/or a Google Hangout. We're looking for contribution in five broad categories. Welcome to GenDIY: Let's face it, it's different being young today. We're looking at the good, bad and ugly realities of being a Millennial learner.
  • Millennials: tolerant, educated, enterprising, and often hyphenated
  • Ugly confluence: high youth unemployment, failing college ROI
  • New employment landscape: competence and initiative matters
  • New opportunity: anywhere anytime learning
Charting Your Own Course: At some point you decide it's up to you, but how do you decide what to do?
  • Getting through high school: flex, GED, online, home, independent study
  • Learn and serve: gap-year travel, AmeriCorps, TFA, Peace Corps
  • Broadening your base: how to scan careers options fast
  • What to do? Matching will & skill, mission & task
Rethinking College: Because it's not "one-size-fits-all-at-18, two or four years then you're done" anymore.
  • College in high school: early college, dual enrollment
  • Cheap credits: community college, CfA, WGU, StraighterLine, Propero
  • Colleges serving low-income, 1st gen college students
  • College now and later: online options
  • Code school: a fast path to a great job
Learning on the Job: That thing about having seven careers in a lifetime? Here's how GenDIYers thrive on it.
  • Figure out what you need to know and be able to do
  • Finding or creating an internship
  • Learn for free: MOOC, OER, TED, apps & tools
  • Show what you know: sending signaling
GenDIY Imperatives: Tools, skills, and advice for (and from) GenDIY.
  • Get Your S*!% Together: manage your time
  • Build Your Brand: positive social media presence
  • Build A Network: mentors, contacts, references
  • Go Together: getting the help you deserve
Each section will include stories by and about young adults charting their own course: internships that lead to great jobs; artists and online students; code school success stories; "dropouts" who turn to alternative education, and alt ed celebs. See a topic you are an expert or have experience in? We're making the case and making known the realities of students who are pursuing careers through alternative pathways. If your contribution is selected, we'll post an edited version on Getting Smart, submit it to The Huffington Post, and incorporate it into an interactive eBook in the form of a quote, feature, or video. Additional details:
  • Email Tyler at editor@gettingsmart.com with your contribution and questions. He is the GenDIY project manager and editor.
  • Timeline: we would appreciate receiving your blog or joining us on a Google Hangout before February 1. (Let us know if a longer timeframe would be useful).
  • Images/video: if there is an image or video, or two, that you'd like to include in your blog, please send them along.