The future for ALL our children?

<p>After interacting with LOTS of former high school graduates, who are encountering great difficulties in jobs, housing, student loans, etc., I've come to the conclusion that our young people will ultimately rise up and re-invent themselves and become entrepreneurs and creative problem solvers! Pain brings change...</p>

<p>Are you as hopeful?</p>

<p>As a recent grad, I say no-- at least not for many many more generations to come. I think a small minority of people encounter those great difficulties and figure out how to prevail, but by my observation it seems like most people are really, really struggling to find a way to survive with their current circumstances and end up just giving up and driving themselves further and further into debt. I don't think the ability to reinvent oneself, or rather the drive and intelligence to do so, is universal.</p>

<p>I am always hopeful about America, it's citizens and it's future.</p>

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After interacting with LOTS of former high school graduates

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<p>Former high school graduates? Were their diplomas revoked? :D</p>

<p>I think our country is just going through the growing pains that all advanced nations go through. We are now learning that rapid growth and easy wealth can't continue forever. Now we will start evolving into more of a western-European-style society in which we trade some amount of social mobility and economic opportunity for greater security and equality. Our young people will grow up to be less acquisitive and more philosophical, and more content, than previous generations.</p>

<p>I think that those young people who had the ability to rise to the top either academically, socially or emotionally will do so when times are tight. It is very hard in our current economy and the recent grads need more than just a college degree and some good internships on their resume. They need to know how to network, have the confidence to call people they might or might not know personally, and believe it or not they also need to have a nice polished look to go with the people skills they hopefully have acquired during their four years of college. </p>

<p>I will probably get some flack on this, but this is probably the best time to be a graduate of a great school...either Ivy or Ivy like. From the many students I know through my sons' and my daughter the kids who are doing well in terms of getting good jobs are the ones who have the the great college on their resume, and a combination of the other factors I mentioned above. The doors open alot easier for the Ivy or similar grad.</p>

<p>Sadly, I am seeing the kids from two of our state schools here in New Jersey having problems getting jobs. They are great kids, smart and seemingly personable, but the economy is not being kind to them. I hope things break soon for these kids because it is tough seeing so many of them taking jobs doing things that once required no education. It looks to me that these kids are kind of shooting themselves in the foot in some way because the longer they work at these jobs the harder it will be to convince an employer at a big company that you are worth hiring. I don't know what the answer is when there is student loan debt to consider, and the thought of moving on with their lives and leaving mom and dads home. These kids seem kind of stuck and for the most part it has nothing to do with them.</p>

<p>I hope you are right Mantori...that would not be a bad thing.</p>

<p>My experience has been it has less to do with whether you graduate from an Ivy or a state school and way more to do with your major. There are majors and career fields which are booming and many which are not. All other thing being equal, it is probable that an Ivy league degree in a not so great career field will give you an edge but in fields where there is a big demand, maybe not so much. For example, I work in healthcare and it's an industry that literally can not find enough qualified people both on the clinical side and the business side and they really don't care whether you have an Ivy league education or not. On the other hand, 'softer majors' like a general business degree vs. accounting or finance isn't going to get you as far, especially from a state university. Every kid I've known who has come out of the local state university with a degree in IT, accounting or engineering has immediately landed a job. Those with degrees in political science, art history , etc. have had a tough time.</p>

<p>I do think it's very important for students to understand that the networking you do in college is critical to finding a job. You really can't expect to do nothing for 4 years but go to class and have a job waiting for you. It's critical to develop a work history while in college as well as do things like joining clubs and fraternities, intern, develop a rapport with professors who have contacts in industry, etc.</p>

<p>Challenges have always presented opportunities--for growth if the drive and skills are there or working harder & smarter otherwise. It is also a time for reflection about what values are most important and how to have those met despite difficult times.</p>

<p>I agree that networking and experience, as well as working in the field (paid or unpaid) is invaluable in getting a job that pays a living wage.</p>

<p>I keep thinking about Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" and the part about the timing of when you launch and how that affects your trajectory. No question, this is a very bad time to be coming of age in our society.</p>

<p>Have to say that I am not observing what Momlive describes --</p>

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Every kid I've known who has come out of the local state university with a degree in IT, accounting or engineering has immediately landed a job.

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<p>IT is a terrible place to be right now. Engineering is far from the assured employment guarantee that it once was. I have nieces and nephews and know many kids of friends with the "practical" degrees and they are largely struggling to find employment. The one exception seems to be accounting, thanks to our rat's nest of financial regulations, which ironically is probably cutting off employment in other fields.</p>

<p>The impact of the Ivy degree seems to be useful. Our son had offers and he is by no means a networker. He knows Ivy grads in the arts who are struggling but they don't seem to care, they have the "passion" thing . . .</p>

<p>Regarding networking, I would caution against urging kids to network too aggressively. My DH recruits a lot and it turns him off when he feels as if he's being targeted. I would also caution against urging kids to emphasize networking and internships during the undergrad years over the academics. For our son, the gpa was key and for those I know in hiring positions the academic credentials are the bottom line. There can be such a thing as being too much of a networker -- it doesn't play well.</p>

<p>I was talking about this with one of my friends last weekend. The banking sector is dying. When our kids graduate, we wonder what the jobs would be. Now more than ever an Ivy degree and very focused majors is crucial, if one wants to find a decent job. </p>

<p>This is not surprising. Globalization has taken away many jobs that were once land locked in the USA. The jobs that remain are often either very high level, or very low level.</p>

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Now more than ever an Ivy degree and very focused majors is crucial, if one wants to find a decent job.

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<p>Sorry...but I don't agree with this. An Ivy degree is certainly a wonderful thing...schools are great...but that alone will NOT guarantee you a "decent job". Sorry...it won't.</p>

<p>We just hired five entry level engineers, all from UC schools. On Monday interviewing for five more. Decent salary. That's my anecdote YMMV.</p>

<p>I have two somewhat recent college grads who are doing just what the OP has posted. They are enterprising young adults who have great hopes for their futures. Neither graduated from an Ivy...both are very happy young adults who are contributing significantly to this world (in my opinion) in different ways.</p>

<p>College isn't needed for every profession...and in fact isn't necessary for some. We've heard that over and over on this forum when we've discussed some of the careers out there. Just saying.</p>

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Sorry...but I don't agree with this. An Ivy degree is certainly a wonderful thing...schools are great...but that alone will NOT guarantee you a "decent job". Sorry...it won't.

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<p>It is necessary, but not sufficient.</p>

<p>I'm old enough to know people who married in 1929. :eek: When I knew them, they were living comfortably in the 1990s. The young will get through this and will be living comfortably in the 2050s. I have faith in them!</p>

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We just hired five entry level engineers, all from UC schools. On Monday interviewing for five more. Decent salary. That's my anecdote YMMV.

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<p>Every engineering (electrical, computer, mechanical) graduate or student that I know (including myself) has been snapped up (jobs or interns leading to jobs) by defense contractors here. </p>

<p>It's not the end of the world. Some people will thrive, some will survive and some will fail... Shrug.</p>

<p>The economy needs baristas, too.</p>

<p>Or perhaps the future is in plastics.</p>

<p>there are plenty of exporting to china business opportunities right now. people just don't see and realize the vast vacuum that exists in certain parts of the economic industry and don't understand the people in those regions to take advantage of it. the only requirement is that you kinda have to be chinese and know people from china.</p>

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Or perhaps the future is in plastics.

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<p>I'm in plastics, and anytime I've gotten the itch to move on, I've had another good job within a few weeks. There you go, a scientific sampling of one.</p>

<p>Hey, here's MY anecdote:</p>

<p>D is a rising senior at a definitely-not-ivy school (maybe tier 2? tier 3? depending on whose ratings you use). Anyway, she already has a full-time job waiting for her after graduation with a good starting salary and a hefty signing bonus.</p>

<p>Yes, she's an accounting major. She had her pick of 4 internship offers this past summer - the internship she chose led to this offer of employment after graduation.</p>

<p>My point (besides bragging about D!) is this: for some fields, it really doesn't matter what school you go to. D chose this urban school partially because she thought she wanted to live in that city when she graduated - so she looked for an urban school with an active alumni network, when choosing a college. Then, she studied really hard and made fantastic grades. The rest appears to be history.</p>

<p>Even her accountant friends with less-stellar grades who have interned (or who work part-time) have offers of employment after graduation. The major caveat is - you have to like accounting for this plan to work.......</p>