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Nationwide Examine Finds Excessive Schoolers Keenly Conscious of Present In-Demand Jobs, Impacting Schooling Selections After Commencement

MINNEAPOLIS (Might 20, 2022)—As we speak’s excessive schoolers are keenly conscious of the affect the pandemic had on the job market and are evaluating their choices as they forge their path to a profession, in keeping with the newest Query The Quo Schooling Pulse survey. The latest nationwide research of 14-18-year-olds in the US, fielded in January, discovered three-quarters have heard about employee shortages, and greater than one-third usually tend to pursue an schooling or profession in an in-demand subject.

“Probably the most beautiful discovering for me has been how insightful, intuitive and engaged this demographic is on the subject of understanding the profession panorama, the affect of pupil debt and the choices obtainable to them within the present setting,” stated Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. “As we speak’s college students have skilled the pandemic’s affect, and so they wish to forge their very own path—a path that’s shorter in length, extra inexpensive and connects on to a profession—particularly a profession in a subject that wants staff.”

Based on this survey, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, half of excessive schoolers are not contemplating four-year school and fewer than half consider a four-year diploma will make them profitable. Greater than half are open to a path aside from four-year school, and due to the pandemic, one-third say they’re extra comfy with following a shorter pathway. Regardless of that, 85% really feel strain to pursue a four-year diploma.

As well as and regardless of lecture rooms largely returning to pre-pandemic experiences, lower than half really feel ready for his or her schooling after highschool.

The findings are from the newest iteration of ECMC Group’s Query The Quo Schooling Pulse survey, which has examined excessive schoolers’ attitudes about their future schooling and profession aspirations since earlier than the pandemic and all through. The 5 surveys of greater than 5,300 highschool college students ages 14-18, carried out in partnership with VICE Media, came about between February 2020 and January 2022 and sought to uncover how teenagers are fascinated with and planning for his or her future schooling and careers amidst an ever-changing pandemic setting.

Teenagers consider postsecondary schooling just isn’t a method to discover a profession, however reasonably to refine and pursue profession choices; anticipate employers to play a job of their ongoing schooling

Seventy-five % of excessive schoolers have a profession in thoughts and 74% consider you will need to have their profession plans decided once they graduate from highschool. Additionally, 73% assume a direct path to a profession is crucial in postsecondary schooling and 39% have taken courses on profession exploration or have participated in a program to assist them decide future profession paths.

Teenagers additionally view postsecondary schooling as a lifelong endeavor and anticipate employers and the federal government to play a job. Eighty-six % consider companies ought to help schooling by offering formal schooling and offering extra cash to repay pupil loans and 91% consider the federal government ought to help schooling by offering extra cash to repay pupil loans and subsidizing/paying for schooling.

“Two years into the pandemic, and we’re seeing that the impacts on these college students look like right here to remain,” Wheaton stated. “The strain they’re feeling comes from many instructions together with from society at giant, so it’s extra vital than ever that we create, present and spend money on high-quality schooling choices that meet their wants in addition to the wants of our financial system.”

Extra findings embody:

Highschool college students are approaching schooling and careers with in-demand fields in thoughts

  • 75% of teenagers have heard about workforce shortages
    • Frequent sources of this info embody social media (62%), mother and father/household (51%) and conventional information media (45%)
  • Teenagers are conscious of employee shortages in in-demand fields, a lot of which don’t require four-year levels: instructing, healthcare, human providers, hospitality, expert trades
  • 35% usually tend to pursue jobs within the present impacted, in-demand careers
  • 36% usually tend to pursue schooling centered on an impacted, in-demand profession

Gen Z stays open to pathways aside from four-year school

  • 51% of teenagers are contemplating attending a four-year school (20 share factors lower than in Might 2020)
  • 85% stated they really feel strain to pursue a four-year diploma, regardless of 52% saying they’re open to a distinct path
  • 63% stated they really feel strain from mother and father/guardians/household (a rise since September 2021)
  • 47% stated they really feel strain from society (a rise since September 2021)
  • 42% stated their post-high college schooling ought to final lower than 4 years, and 31% stated it ought to final two years or much less

But many don’t really feel prepared for the subsequent step

  • Solely 39% really feel that their highschool has ready them for postsecondary schooling
  • 46% need extra formalized studying all through their lifetime

Gen Z is connecting expertise—and never essentially levels—to jobs

  • 52% consider they are often profitable with expertise they acquire from schooling attained in three years or much less
  • 58% say a skill-based schooling (e.g., commerce expertise, nursing, STEM, and so forth.) is sensible in right this moment’s world
  • Almost one-third would like to achieve expertise by a number of brief (one 12 months or much less) experiences over a lifetime vs. one lengthy schooling expertise (4 years or extra)
  • 81% stated studying the talents they should be profitable is a vital issue of their determination about schooling after highschool
  • Almost one-third would contemplate enrolling in profession and technical schooling if there was a assure that they might develop stronger expertise

Price continues to be a priority and an element within the decision-making course of

  • Greater than 63% stated the price of tuition and the quantity of pupil loans they would want have been vital components in what they select to do after highschool
  • 59% fear about how they are going to pay for faculty (has remained regular for the previous two years)
  • 43% stated the price of school is a very powerful component of their schooling determination, outranking job placements, completion charges and school rankings

Profession and technical schooling (CTE) is changing into a extra seen choice

  • Multiple-third consider a CTE pathway can cause them to success
  • 54% of scholars are conscious of what profession and technical schooling is (13 percentage-point enhance since February 2020, constant since September 2021)
  • 33% stated they’d be extra prone to pursue profession and technical schooling if there was a stronger assure of a job after commencement, and 28% stated they might if it was seen as worthwhile as a four-year diploma (constant since January 2021)

Socioeconomic variations in mindsets might exacerbate revenue inequality

  • 19-percentage-point distinction between college students from low-income households and people from high-income households who consider schooling after highschool is important (50% vs. 69%)
  • 34-percentage-point distinction between college students from low-income households and people from high-income households who’re contemplating four-year school (40% vs. 74%)
  • College students from low-income households typically have much less entry to profession exploration sources
  • Incomes potential is considerably extra vital to college students from high-income households in comparison with these from low-income households

“Teenagers proceed to inform us that real-world experiences in schooling will cause them to profession success,” stated Wheaton. “Nevertheless, regardless of their perspective on the roles they wish to enter, they clearly want extra details about what it takes to get there. Solely by working collectively throughout policymakers, companies, educators and learners can we illuminate all of the viable pathways that result in promising futures with upward profession trajectories.”

The surveys are a part of ECMC Group’s Query The Quo marketing campaign, which goals to empower college students to be taught concerning the varied increased schooling choices obtainable and to take the profession path that’s proper for them.

Survey Methodology
ECMC Group, in partnership with VICE Media, carried out 4 nationwide Query The Quo Schooling Pulse surveys. The primary survey of 1,177 highschool college students was carried out Feb. 25-March 2, 2020; the second survey of 1,025 highschool college students was carried out Might 14-20, 2020; the third survey of 1,001 highschool college students was carried out Jan. 4-19, 2021; the fourth survey of 1,052 highschool college students was carried out Sept. 20-Oct. 3, 2021; the fifth survey of 1,062 highschool college students was carried out Jan. 23-Feb. 11, 2022.

About ECMC Group

ECMC Group is a nonprofit company centered on serving to college students succeed by creating, offering and investing in progressive academic alternatives. Headquartered in Minneapolis, ECMC Group and its household of firms are centered on advancing academic alternatives by monetary instruments and providers; nonprofit profession schooling; and progressive, impactful and mission-aligned funding for applications to assist college students obtain their tutorial {and professional} objectives and to handle the way forward for work. To be taught extra, go to

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