Are High Schools Students Preparing for College?

Youth without college degrees face a labor market crisis because they are forced to move from one job to the next, with little or no opportunity to improve their skills, earnings, or status. Employers are concerned that these workers lack the basic skills needed to perform their jobs. 

The growing shortage of skilled workers suggests that education reform must focus on improving the capabilities and opportunities for high school graduates. This article reveals that schools focus on college entrance and students misunderstand motives for success. 

Schools Don’t See Students' Problems Too Closely

School policies tend to focus too much on academic achievements, leaving out soft skills such as motivation, dependability, and attention to quality. Many employers place these skills above academic abilities. 

Students believe academic effort is not important and that it has little to do with their futures. Tutoring is the best way to cover the academic gap. With proper tutoring, you can even opt for selective school test preparation that can help you in further studies.

Students Need Clearer Incentives

Students are also not given clear information about the incentives available to them for mastering both academic and soft skills. Although teachers are encouraged to motivate students, the rewards remain elusive. Institutions must have mechanisms to communicate the importance of students' actions to help them achieve their career and college goals.  


Unfortunately, current policies don't work to improve school-employer relationships. Vocational programs and well-connected teachers are being cut in favor of college for all policies. Vocational education in high schools and community colleges should be expanded to reverse this trend. 

Teachers who have good connections in the trade should be retained and rewarded for their excellent placements in the industry. Counselors and teachers should be encouraged to share candid information with employers about students, and to be open with students about their capabilities and potential opportunities.

The key is to make the institution actors more aware of the importance of students' job-entry success.