Bill’s Weekly Reflection: 16%
16%. That’s right. According to a study released by Rutgers University this spring, 16% of 2009-2011 high school graduates who didn’t go to college have full-time jobs, down from 37% in 2006-2008. This percentage-drop amazes me. The current recession has hit many people hard, but it appears that high school graduates have been hit the hardest. When you step back and take a look, it makes sense that with the retail sector stumbling along, the collapse of the construction business, the shrinking of already-precious manufacturing jobs and the acceleration of automation (ATMs replacing bank tellers), fewer and fewer jobs exist for young people who do not have education beyond high school.
You might ask, “Has this recession hit recent college grads too? Are they struggling to get jobs?” Yes, they are. But, they are not struggling nearly as much as kids who have only a high school diploma. 47% of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 are employed full-time – three times the rate of high school grads. And, you can be sure that these college degree-holders are earning a lot more money in their jobs.
I have heard significant concern in the media over the last 12 months about the value of a college degree. These are tough times. Student debt is at an all-time high, and, finding a job is not easy for anyone - college degree or not. This being said, the numbers cited above tell me that the value of a college degree could not be any greater in this day and age. A college degree triples your chances of getting a job - a job that earns a ton more money than one you might find after graduating high school. This fact reinforces my belief that all students ought to have the opportunity and choice to go to college after graduating from high school, a commitment that lies at the heart of DSST.