Career ConnectED Learning Image of people crossing a bridge made of puzzles over a gap on the road towards innovation.

Maximize Your Career-Connected Learning Investment by Overcoming These 5 K-12 Investment Barriers

Written by Spencer Taylor, Director Sales and Marketing, Scoutlier by Aecern

We have previously explored the value of sponsoring career-connected learning in K-12 as part of an impactful ESG strategy, and have discussed how ServiceNow, a $7+ billion technology company, has leveraged career-connected learning to operationalize key pillars of its corporate strategy. If you had a chance to read through these, you probably thought that sponsoring career-connected learning is an obvious, cost-effective, and easy way for your company to elevate its ESG profile and achieve important corporate goals.

The reality, of course, is that it’s not always so easy or so cheap. In many cases, investments in career-connected learning don’t yield the results expected1. Take one of our new partners, a $5+ billion technology company that came to us after spending $50,000 on a K-12 career-connected program. The program reached 2 teachers and slightly under 50 students. The math is pretty straightforward and doesn’t tell a pretty picture. Nobody is going to consistently spend over $1,000 / student to deliver a few lessons.

5 barriers keeping you from creating an impact with your career-connected learning investment

If career-connected learning is such a good idea, why is implementing it effectively and efficiently such a challenge, and what can be done about this? Through our work with industry, government, and school partners we have identified 5 key barriers to successful K-12 investment (see Figure 1).

The 5 key barriers to successful K-12 investment: (1) Technology Integration (2) Curriculum Alignment (3) Teacher Support (4) Assessments & Credentialing (5) Student Accommodations
Figure 1

So what is the right way to do career-connected learning for K-12 students? We won an inaugural Catalyze Award2 to find answers to this question. Our resulting Career ConnectED framework and playbook have now been applied with proven impact across the country by companies and governmental agencies. Central to the success of the Career ConnectED playbook are strategies and technologies that make your investment engaging and highly accessible, provide students and teachers the support and role models they need, and infuse the learning experience with meaning and rewards.

We’re excited at the prospect of providing all our young people with much needed learning experiences that prepare them for the amazing careers available to them. We hope you will join us in this journey.


  1. Klein, Alyson. “Data: 5 Big Challenges in Preparing K-12 Students for the World of Work.” Education Week,, 31 Jan. 2022, 
  2. “Catalyze: Advancing Career-Connected Learning.Catalyze – Our Impact, Catalyze, N.D.


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