Career Worlds Converging: Connecting the Worlds of Work and Education

By Bryan Lubic

Kenneth Hoyt (1975) described the convergence of the many different participants in career development as the creation of a “third world...in which educational institutions and the business-labor-industry community interact collaboratively to provide an environment, a set of learning experiences, and a set of learning opportunities for helping all persons in our society...(to) make a successful transition from the world of schooling to the world of paid employment,” (p. 356).



First: How Our History Will Help Us Move Forward
In 1909, Frank Parsons explained that:

In the wise choice of a vocation there are three broad factors:

  1. a clear understanding of yourself, your aptitudes, abilities, interests, ambitions, resources, limitations, and their causes;

  2. a knowledge of the requirements and conditions of success, advantages and disadvantages, compensation, opportunities, and prospects in different lines of work;

  3. true reasoning on the relations of these two groups of facts.

Every young person needs help on all three of these points.” (p. 5)



In 1977, Kenneth Hoyt commented that “the business-labor-industry community has operated under a false assumption that responsibility for readying youth for entry into the world of work must rest squarely on our educational institutions. As a result, he explained, the “world of schooling” and the “world of work” have been two quite different worlds.” More importantly, he declared, “it is time to quit asking such questions and to start moving toward some constructive solutions,” (pp.355-356). More than 100 years later after Parsons, organizations in the two worlds--work and schooling--have created innovative and effective programs and partnerships that fulfill and extend the visions of our profession. This article highlights several examples of effective collaborations and programs for people and organizations in both worlds--work and schooling--to use for inspiration, celebration, and, of course, implementation!


Setting the Stage for Success


Corporate connections with the classroom take several forms, each with unique benefits. As you review each of these programs and approaches, consider how you could integrate any of these approaches offers into your “world.”


For example:


  • If you are a career development professional, would you like to start or support an existing program? Or perhaps start by learning more about one particular program?

  • If you are in the world of work, would you be interested, in partnering with a university or school as a speaker, mentor, or alumni advisor?


As you read what others have done to fulfill the visions and drive our shared history forward, please share your thoughts, reactions, takeaways and ideas in the Comments below.


  • Sharing their stories: The speaker series.

Inviting alumni, corporate partners, and special guests to share perspectives, experiences, and connections is a simple, popular, and effective way to connect corporate to classroom and make an impact. From a single speaker to full-blown, multi-day, multi-panel weeklong themed event, your impact is limited only by your imagination.


Here is a great example from the University of Notre Dame, which shows creative ways to offer different areas of focus:



And here’s a terrific example of a comprehensive, week-long, multi-event program:



  • One on One Connections: Mentor programs.

Connecting wisdom, experience, and a passion for service, mentoring programs help deepen and enrich the lives of everyone involved. Working professionals find renewed energy in working with students, providing insight and guidance. Students benefit from a deeper affiliation with a caring individual.


For more examples of mentoring programs, see:

Wake Forest University Mentoring Resource Center



University of Michigan Mentorship Program



  • Build it, together: Business Incubators

Providing space, resources, and opportunities for students, community members, and businesses to interact and support each other in developing businesses is a great way to connect the world of work, education, and enterprise.


See for example:

The Macomb-Oakland University INCubator



The NCSU Technology Incubator



  • Applied Experience: Internships, Co-ops, and Consulting

Offering academic credit for work experience is one way that universities connect classroom and academics to the world of work. Some schools have created unique extensions of this idea, including business consulting projects that allow teams of students to solve actual problems for real clients.


Here are a few examples:

CSU San Marcos, Senior Experience



San Diego State University (SDSU), Business Consulting Programs



  • Experienced professionals: Executive in Residence, Lecturers, Professionally Qualified Faculty

From lecturers teaching courses, to executives in the classroom and in leadership positions in colleges and universities, experienced working professionals are hired for their practical, experience and perspectives in the world of work.


Students appreciate the value and insight they bring, and the real-life, personal experiences they use to illustrate theories and concepts. As SDSU graduate business student Erik Lundby explained to me, “Having a real example makes a huge difference in my learning. It’s make a critical difference when you’re not as familiar with the subject.”


For more ideas and examples, see these resources:

Columbia University Executives in Residence Program (includes a clear, concise overview)



St. John’s University Executive-in-Residence Program (EIRP)



Bringing It All Together: Connecting and Creating Hope, Social Justice and Legacy
How would you like to bring the “world of work” and the “world of school” together? Here are a few quick points to help you move forward faster:

  • First, assess where you’re at, and what you’d like to achieve. To start, think small & specific. There is power in partnerships!

  • Second, develop your concept, resources (programs and people) and action plan.

  • Third, implement, evaluate and reflect!

  • And fourth: Consider writing an article for Career Convergence or submitting a conference proposal to share your experiences and advance the profession!


Here’s a final example of how one university brings it all together, including how they communicate their programs and opportunities:




Working together, these collaborations and programs really have achieved more.

Share your thoughts, reactions, takeaways and ideas in the comments below.



Hoyt, Kenneth B. (1975). Career education: Contributions to an evolving concept.Salt Lake City, UT: Olympus Publishing Company.


Parsons, Frank. (1967). Choosing a vocation. New York: Agathon Press. (Original work published 1909).

Bryan LubicBryan Lubic, M.A., CCMC, is a Professional Development Advisor at San Diego State University.  He is also a law school graduate and a certified career coach.  Career Convergenceand NCDA appreciate his volunteer work as the Associate Editor of the Organizations Department. He can be reached at blubic@mail.sdsu.edu.


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1 Comment

Susan Whitcomb   on Monday 04/01/2013 at 08:59 PM

Bravo, Bryan. I love all the examples you've shared!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the views or opinions of this organization.