The purpose of a job shadow is to allow students to observe and participate in appropriate work-related activities. During a job shadow, a student spends at least two hours at a business observing alongside an experienced employee who can answer questions and provide accurate and timely advice. They learn the total operation of a business including the organization's mission, policies, procedures, staffing, and corporate culture. Through this interaction and observation, the student sees firsthand the connection between school and the world of work.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, "Although business-education partnerships are set-up to benefit students, 90% of employees involved in these partnerships improve their own skills and job performance." As an employer, you can identify and encourage workers in your organization to become a job shadow host. By promoting this activity, businesses have an opportunity to recruit and attract bright students. Commitment to schools is seen as a positive reflection in the community.
Students may earn one-half elective credit by successfully completing a series of job shadows. This experience can also help develop impressive portfolio and scholarship data. Students are frequently offered employment or are given good references as a result of successful job shadows. Often, students are better prepared to make appropriate choices regarding colleges and fields of study as a result of their experience.