Warning… this is long, but really not a rant, just an observation after reading a ton of articles about the current job market, watching the news for the last few years and talking to young folks that I know and love.
How can we expect our high school students to have their careers and direction for their life planned out when a lot of us don’t figure it out until we are well into our adulthood years?
Seriously, look at all the colleges that are wooing adults now! They want adults to come back and get a degree, or an additional degree. And my understanding is that you don’t have to take the SAT or ACT to be admitted. You can take classes, then earn your way toward a college diploma. I personally think it is WONDERFUL. I really do. It’s a chance to take a different direction. A chance to learn something new and start fresh.
And right now, there is too much stress placed on our teen students to make the perfect grades, ace the mountain of tests placed before them so they can make sure they don’t “screw up” their chances of getting in to the “right” college. I believe that attitude births more harm than good. A four year education is not the only option out there. Technical schools, community colleges, art schools, etc… they are all viable (and good options) that can prepare someone for good jobs and further education at other universities, if they choose to continue that path. We should encourage them to do their best, but when we push them to a breaking point? No one deserves that.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a 4 year degree from ASU (Psychology/concentration Rehabilitation with a minor in music). But now? I am a writer and a homeschooling mama. I am super-glad to have attended the school that I did, and super-glad I was able to attend right after high school. But I don’t think that a 4 year degree is worth the same as it once was. I am not saying it is useless… just saying it not the only option out there.
Our high school graduates are able to go to more career-targeted schools, get the education they need to get a job, and then GET a job. They can then opt to go back to school for more education, or get what they need as they go through online classes, workshops/conferences and certification classes/ongoing education classes that are sometimes paid for by employers.
And lest I’m misunderstood (which is likely), I do think four year colleges are good. I like them. I graduated from one. (GO ASU!!) But they are not the only option for today’s young adults (or adults of any age) when considering how to approach the adult-workforce, how to find God’s call on their lives, and how best to use their gifts and resources to make this world a better place.
Observational non-rant over.