As an incoming freshman, everyone is told about how their high school has different programs for college preparation and career choices. While these options are definitely wonderful, high schoolers are often pressured to pick a specific program or area to pursue for the majority of their high school career. Following these programs that high schoolers are encouraged to partake in, they are almost expected to continue on with them into college. High schools make a huge deal about how their students are going into amazing medical, engineering, social work programs at their college of choice. However, one of the things that the school system fails to consider for high schoolers, is that most people change their career choice within their time in college.
Katie Naymon writes on this very topic in her article saying, “The truth is, most college students change their career paths many times throughout their education…” This being said, why is it such a big deal that teenagers who barely have life experience have to have a set plan for the rest of their life by the time they’re a senior in high school? The truth is that the current school system spends so much time preparing their students for college that they aren’t able to even teach basic life skills. In an article released last year, Julie Scheidegger states that, “A new survey indicates that American high schools are not doing enough to make students future-ready beyond academic settings.”
Important real world skills such as taxes and financial management in general, as well as how to get a job are not things that are focused nearly enough upon in the school system. Another thing that Scheidegger mentions in her article is that, “Across the board, “real world skills” are seen as the best way to help prepare students for success in the workforce.” Therefore, at the end of the day, it is more important for a high school student to understand and be able to manage the ropes of the real world than to have their entire life supposedly planned out in front of them. Though it is beneficial and mostly necessary to have set goals, life is quite unpredictable and could change at any second. Hence, that is why it is important to know basic and useful life skills prior to being simply thrown into the world itself.
In today’s school system, not only are high schools not preparing students well enough for basic life skills, but this can be said for colleges as well. As Americans, most people know the high expense of paying for college itself. “One of the staggering numbers is that when you enroll in college, only 21 cents on your dollar actually go to instruction. The rest goes to everything else that’s involved in keeping the college running”(TalentCulture Team). These high prices can be especially frustrating when a student finishes college and does not feel prepared for the world they have been pushed into. In some cases college attendees may still be living at home and commuting to school or they might have parents that paid for school. In these cases, it is questionable whether or not the individual actually understands how to do taxes or manage money. It is problems such as these that are concerning to have in the school system considering these are the people who are put out into the world to be the next generation of the workforce.
In an article by Chitra Reddy she states that, “Universities do not teach or share any form of knowledge on communication be it verbal or written. The present generation is born with technology in hand, hence, they are losing out on the importance of communication, and they hardly speak to anyone in the outside world.” In this short excerpt from her writing, Reddy names one of the many faults within the college education system. From something as simple as understanding how to communicate in a professional business setting to money and time management, these are crucial areas that the school system overall needs to improve in.
Eric Duffy explains that, “The idea is that those four years [of college] are your chance to develop the skills needed so that when you enter the workforce, you’re prepared. That model is outdated.” The truth is that, in a lot of situations, although a student may have gone through rigorous schooling for a certain major this does not mean that they are guaranteed an immediate job in that area. It is not unlikely that after graduating it will take an individual a while to climb to the top and actually work on what they majored or specialized in. At the end of the day, the education system cannot be trusted to teach every single life skill or prepare a student for every situation they might come across. Until schools can evolve to cater more to these issues, it is clear that students will have to find other ways to manage and learn these life skills.
Naymon, Katie, et al. Changing Your Career Path in College: What to Do. www.hercampus.com/money-career/changing-your-career-path-college-what-do.
Manager, Written by Julie ScheideggerEditorial. “New Survey Highlights Disconnect between High School and the Real World.” Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 12 Sept. 2019, www.kauffman.org/currents/new-survey-highlights-disconnect-between-high-school-and-real-world/?utm_source=newsletter.
Part 2 Works Cited:
Reddy, Chitra, et al. “15 Ways University Doesn’t Prepare You for Real Life in World.” WiseStep, 30 Sept. 2020,content.wisestep.com/ways-university-doesnt-prepare-real-life-world/.
Quora. “Does College Prepare Students For The Real World?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Dec. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/09/09/does-college-prepare-students-for-the-real-world/?sh=5de094fc42df.
TalentCulture Team. “Colleges Aren’t Preparing Students for Work– What Employers Should Do.” talentculture, 15 Jan. 2019,https://talentculture.com/why-colleges-arent-preparing-students-for-work-and-what-employers-should-do-about-it/