Everyone knows education is expensive, but an uneducated population is not a productive one.
Students go back to school in a few weeks and those heading off to postsecondary carry with them the stress of knowing one day-soon-they will graduate and will need to find a job to pay off those students loans they are accumulating.
The provincial government is spending $1.9 billion on educating students in its 25 post-secondary institutions this year- and students and their parents will kick in a whole bunch more.
Many parents hope their kids will end up at university studying in prestigious areas like medicine, law, dentistry, and business.
But these days, even doctors are graduating from university and not finding jobs (but apparently there are a lot of jobs in gerontology). Skilled trades and technology are expected to be the fastest growing areas of employment.
While we like to encourage our children to pursue their dreams and passions, we also have to keep them grounded and ready to do work that will earn them a living and let them be independent. Unromantic as it may sound, we should encourage our youth to attain skills that are marketable-something that has value for society and somebody will pay money for.
Students should also understand that if they do a general four-year degree-while it will broaden one's mind-the job prospects to start might be making venti cappuccinos or the graveyard shift at Home Depot. Their friends who became millwrights, welders, electricians, or plumbers are more likely to secure gainful employment in the long run-though they too will have to retrain to keep their skills up to date.
Working in the service sector is nothing to be ashamed of, but detailed knowledge from the History 455 course about the reasons by the First World War broke out won't help too much-though it will make for great conversation.
© Copyright 2013