Monday, August 15, 2011

I would know that school would end soon enough...and work would...well, never mind.

Exodus 5:18 (New International Version)Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks."

It's that time , the hustle and bustle of a new school year. The world struggles with educating our youth. More importantly they struggle with employing the newly educated. I am blessed with three bright well educated sons who are continuing their education. One in law school and one in his senior year of college, the third in his junior year of high school. They have all worked hard during the summer and had pretty good gigs for  students but many others have not been so lucky.

More students that graduated with a college degree this year did not find a job in their selected field, than any other time in history. The move out was not a move up and sometimes it became a move back as many sought out their parent's homes for refuge. Jobs were scare for those that found them and starting salaries were below previous years. This is the startling reality of the newly chosen to enter the work force.

Very few graduated without having a student loan of some sort, expanding the burden and need to find a job soon. Student borrowing increased at a rapid pace of 10 percent a year over the last decade, trying to keep up with the rising cost of education. Tuition cost have outpaced the cost of housing, energy and health care.  Once a given that these loans would be paid off, there is a looming crisis as these 20 somethings have started to default on borrowed money at a rapid rate.

The lifetime income gap between those who graduated from college and those who graduated from high school is closing.  This sometimes makes it seem foolish to spend four years or more compounding debt to get a college degree without hope of ever using it in the area of study.

In reality though, those who graduate from college will have more money, bigger houses, more cars, and more vacation time than those who only have a college degree. They will have longer relationships and marriages. They will have less financial troubles and less problems with addiction.

Most of the people I know remember their college years as the best of their lives. They enjoyed the education, the fraternization, and the extended community. Work brings uncertainty, especially in times like these. My recommendation. stay in school, learn all you can. Get a minor in a foreign language if possible. The global gap is closing all the time and it will be useful to your future. And for those of you that so chose, go back to school, or go for the first time, it will be worth every book you open and every person you meet along the way.