Graduates need to know career-path possibilities

info@islandpacket.comJune 16, 2013 

Recently, I saw in local newspapers, pictures of high school graduates with the names of colleges they plan to attend. The majority of graduates are heading to four-year universities. Only a few are pursuing two-year technical or community colleges.

I saw few, if any, who were going to industrial or apprenticeship programs, i.e. plumbing, HVAC or auto mechanics.

I find this very perplexing, especially when only about 25 percent of jobs today require a bachelor's degree or above. Sixty-five percent to 75 percent of the careers require post-secondary preparation beyond high school, but less than university preparation.

When I see such a high percentage of our graduates going off to four-year colleges and universities, I wonder how great a job we parents, counselors and teachers have done at helping them set realistic career goals. Universities are very expensive exploratory institutions, while two-year colleges are excellent career exploration institutions.

According to a recent Harvard study, only 56 percent of four-year college students complete a bachelor's degree in six years. Other studies have shown that at least 50 percent of the recent graduates of four-year colleges and universities cannot find employment, while 90 percent of technical and community college graduates find employment almost immediately.

It's time that we adults providing the schooling process strongly look at a system that is quite broken. Is it not our job as adults to provide learning processes that help our young people reach their goals and become successful, productive citizens?

James Hoerner


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