Education Career Services

April 17, 2009

Education? No question about it!

Dealing with college and high school students across the nation, the “value” of continued education seems to always come up.  As a former college professor and dean, I am passionate about preaching the benefit of a college education to all who listen.  Getting those around us, like our children, is no easy task.


I found many students were either not concerned about getting a job upon graduation or not concerned about graduating.  Perhaps we can blame this attitude on the instant-gratification culture?  I am confident high school, college, and university career specialists have come across the same issue (most likely on a daily basis).  For those in the field of recruitment, I take my hat off to you every day!


How does one convince a current or potential student to seriously pursue their education?  I’ve had many parent/student consultations and quite simply I have found the answer is: money.  True, the cost of attending college may be cumbersome and the time to study can place a hamper on partying…but let’s look at the numbers and consequence: 


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 6th, education is right on target as the national unemployment figures directly relate to the level of education achieved.


National Unemployment Rates:


12.6% for those with NO high school diploma


8.3 % for those with a high school diploma


4.1% for those with a college degree


The numbers literally force one to take pause.  I understand how certain circumstances may prevent an individual from pursuing a college degree but those are far and wide between.  With an overall unemployment rate approaching 10% (and many economists believe we will pass 10% by the end of this year), there is no better time than NOW to continue educational dreams.  


Transferring the numbers into dollar figures would be the natural step.  For example, a few years ago my son, Andrew, came home with a proud look on his face.  He was proud of his paycheck (and rightfully so) as he received a substantial monthly bonus.  This was also at the same time I happened to secure a nice freelance contract job (wrote a career centered booklet about resume and cover letter development) and I showed him my contract.  Needless to say, he was able to internalize the value of education and intellectual capital in less time it takes to find and dial college registration. 


It’s all about the money and sometimes one simply has to lay it on the table.  For a moment reflect on the unemployment rates mentioned above…the answer and solution is there—all we have to do is recognize what we see. 


Oh, what happened to Andrew?  He graduated last year, moved to New York, and is doing well (so well in fact that he needs to begin paying me back for all the support during college—or am I dreaming?).


I guess that’s the real trick, recognizing what we see…can it be that simple?


Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

Education Career Services:

Career Services International:

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