55% of High School Kids Feel Unprepared for What's Next.
Just a little stat I recently discovered which kind of blows me away… the fact that 55% of high school kids reported that they don’t have positive feelings about their career readiness.
Who says? Well, apparently kids; teens and young adults. A tremendous amount of survey and data collection has been done by the government, foundations, and think tanks; the results overwhelmingly identify the lack of adequate career development education as a primary reason why so many young adults:
- Are dropping out of college, or are meandering their way through.
- Aren’t inspired to take action toward greater career aspirations.
- Or are complacent with lower level jobs than what they’re capable of.
These young people:
- May not be aware of the diversity of career and education/training opportunities available to them.
- May think that some careers are out of their reach for any number of reasons.
- May not know how to navigate the logistical steps to make a career they’re interested in happen.
Hmmm. Thought provoking if you ask me.
Facing the Facts.
First of all, let’s face facts. We know that the public school guidance counseling system is overworked and understaffed; which accounts for many of the career development challenges that students are facing and why so many are are floundering after they graduate high school (or even during or after college).
I’ll cite just a few startling facts here so you can reference them via their links if you’d like; the research has been done and we can’t overlook it.
- 55% of high school students feel negatively about their career and college readiness.
- 54% don’t think that their school helped them to discover a career path that is relevant and meaningful to them.
- 51% feel that their school didn’t prepare them for the steps they’d need to take for the career that they wanted.
- 38 minutes. That’s how much time guidance counselors have self-reported spending with each student per year on career and college readiness; to help them build, act and prepare for their post high school graduation life experience.
How can we...
The questions I pose are these:
- How can we, as a community of educators and influencers within the education community, help our teens and young adults to build and act on a career plan that’s relevant, meaningful, and achievable?
- How can we help them to graduate high school knowing that the next chapter of their life will bring them a career and future that will benefit and support not only them, but also their future families?
- How can we help them to discover and explore the diverse careers and opportunities that are available to them… and know the steps to make those careers happen?
- How can we help them to be informed consumers so that they’re not jumping into a post-secondary experience because it’s the one that the well-intentioned, but often uninformed, people in their lives are guiding them towards?
- How can we personalize the career planning experience for every student without negatively impacting an educator’s time and existing deliverables?
- How can we help our students to feel that they, and their futures, are important and meaningful to the adults in their lives?
- How can we help to build a demographic of young people who will not only be benefiting themselves and their future families, but also their communities, as well as our society and economy?
What can we do in our little piece of the world? Mentorship… because it takes a village.
Mentoring Kids Toward Career Success
It’s time for us (adults) to stop relying solely on guidance counselors to deliver career development education to our young people. It’s time for us to utilize the other educators in our schools and organizations to become involved; not in a way that they’ll resist but in a way that they’ll welcome.
Think about this… If you’ve ever been mentored or coached through a learning or growing experience you know the value that relationship brought to you. You also know that the onus is on the mentee to do the introspection and work; the mentor is the cheerleader, the guide, the support person.
Mentor / mentee relationships are what will help our young people to have a much better shot at success; economic, emotional, familial, generational, and societal.
Idea2Career = Mentorship
With so many other important tasks at hand and “fires” to put out there’s often limited time and funding available to make career planning and career development a priority for kids while they’re in high school. It makes sense, but unfortunately by putting it off and relegating to a lower position on the list of things to do we’re creating problems for our society as these kids get out of high school and many of them struggle to find their way.
Which is where Idea2Career can help. It’s a simple to implement and easy to follow career development course that gives educators and other mentors the tools and resources they need to help the young people they’re tasked with helping; with little intrusion on the mentor’s already full plate of things they have going on.