Education is the first stepping stone in achieving the American dream. It is the great equalizer…or so we’ve been told. According to a new Gallup poll, about 98% of parents know their child will graduate from high school this year. They will earn their diploma and move out into the world as adults. However, only 38% of parents are very certain their child will find a good job when he/she graduates. It might be a few months or years before their child literally moves out.
Gallup cites many reasons why parents may feel this way. But the one that stands out the most is the current level of unemployment in the country. The current national unemployment rate stands at 8.1% but some states like Nevada, California and Rhode Island have unemployment rates over 10%. Additionally eight in 10 U.S. adults say now is a bad time to find a quality job.
Every year more and more students are graduating and finding themselves entering a weak economy with few prospects for employment. The challenge for students and parents is going to be thinking differently about the skills they are acquiring in school. The focus will need to be on more activities that give them practical experience they can use in the future. This can be through an after school job, volunteering or even thinking about academic exercises as real world examples.
Having a prepared and educated workforce is a critical aspect of getting our economy back on track.