First off I am not a parent, so yes you may want to say I have no clue what I’m talking about, but as the second oldest of five kids, who helped raise the younger ones and the one that all of my “parent friends” go to for advice I think I have a point here. This is going to be a discussion post and I encourage you to comment, just please keep it clean.
When it comes to the United States school system I think there are some major changes that need to be made, we encourage all of our kids to finish high school and go to college. Now, college graduates can’t find work, are thousands of dollars in debt and are wondering why they followed the advice of parents who grew up in a totally different time and economy.
College now, is really for most professions a scam. You don’t really need it, but in order to keep people from applying to jobs employers are now requiring it, just to keep applicants away. Really, think about it. My example: myself. I type 65 wpm. I have a great phone voice, I use computer programs regularly, and I learn them very quickly but I can’t get a job as a secretary/assistant because I don’t have a collage degree in that field. I do have a collage education. In fact I’m about half way though my Masters degree and over $100,000 in debt. But I can’t get a job with the skills I have, because I went to school for interior design, not for a medical assistant, business or other field that would allow me to answer a phone and input information onto a computer. On top of that, I have trouble finding work anywhere as I’m now way overqualified.
My point here is that maybe instead of four years of high school we should look into getting our kids ready for careers and having them start specializing in their field early. If your going to college, then yes you need to finish high school, the way we have it now, but many careers we could train our youth for before they step foot out of high school and they can start working right away and avoid debt.
Example: Drafting/CAD can be taught to high school age kids who can then go right to manufacturing companies with an in need skill. Many high schools do offer this, but it’s not with an intent to work, but with an intent that you then go to collage for two more years to learn more, things they could teach you, but do not. Lets change that! Make them able to go right to work after graduation and avoid the debt that college brings.
In my opinion, most of what you learn in the last two years of high school is useless information. You forget it within a few years if that and instead of pushing things that most people don’t use we should be allowing our kids to learn skills that will actually help them find work.
I would really love to see the US push apprentices again. I think most people are hands on and that more people would be in jobs they love, employers could actually find skilled employees as most collage graduates really have no clue how to actually do there job when they graduate. Employers still have to train them! There’s just something wrong here. I also think this approach would keep teens from dropping out of school as you would figure out their actual interest and encourage them to pursue it.
Now college is important for some things, teaching, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects and probably a few more I can’t think of. My point is, we are a country in a huge amount debt, and I’m not talking about the government. Why are we still encouraging our children to get into thousands of dollars of debt, just to have to take a job flipping burgers? Which by the way can be a great career if you move up. My sister with no collage education works in fast food and makes more then my mom who has a bachelor degree in education. It’s all about being a hard worker and working your way up.
I feel that college is not always the answer and that to stay competitive we don’t need more education, but education that is specialized to what the young person really wants to do with their lives. What do you think?