Posted September 17, 2020 by Mark Perna
Tease: It’s time to challenge the assumption that college is the right choice for every student. I’ll tell you why—coming up next.
Ep 29 show:
Yesterday on The Perna Syndicate, we talked about what it means to make students career ready, period. I’m not anti-college by any means; in fact, I went to college myself and it was absolutely the right choice for me. But every student is unique and we aren’t doing them any favors by pushing them into a one-size-fits-all college pathway. Here’s why.
On average, every 2018 college grad has more than thirty-five thousand dollars in student loan debt – and that number is rising. Then, there’s the “Some College, No Degree” population—that’s thirty-six million people, by the way—many of whom have been left with heavy loans and no way of repaying them.
Many Americans still assume that the only rewarding careers are those that require a college degree. But it’s simply not the case – it has been recently reported that trade professionals such as plumbers and mechanics are now earning more than the average white-collar salary – that’s impressive.
Pushing every young person to go to college—regardless of individual aptitude, financial circumstances or ultimate life and career goals—is not helping them.
Whether a high schooler is headed for college or for other postsecondary training opportunities—like industry credentials, certifications, licensures, apprenticeships and the like—their choices should be celebrated. And that requires parents, educators and society as a whole to acknowledge the value of all viable career pathways, rather than exalting one at the expense of many others.
Bottom line: it’s career readiness that matters most. So let’s ditch the college-then-career narrative and make our high schoolers career ready. Period.
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