An Education That Prepares The Student For Real Life

I am all for letting kids be kids, but when do we start preparing our children for real life? Children are being forced to grow up a lot faster these days then what I remember growing up. Times are different. What are we doing to prepare our children to meet this challenge?

One thing that thankfully is being looked at today is the way we are using high school to prepare the student for life. Some people will go to college. Some people will go to vocational school. There are those that need to be trained for life no matter what road they choose to walk down. 

Greenville, South Carolina is leading the pack in looking at alternative ways to educate and prepare the youth for life and employment when they graduate. There is a school called the Next High School where this is beginning to be a reality.

The students are divided into schools in technology, life sciences, energy and mobility. The school of mobility includes automotive and aerospace. The emphasis is on becoming part of the solution by problem solving. This is done by involving the students in real life applications like crime-scene investigations for example. There is also a emphasis in exploring the local market by matching training to the industry and jobs in the immediate area.

This is the beginning of the cycle of matching education to jobs. It does not necessarily mean that anyone has to be stuck in a job for life. It just means the beginning of training our youth to be able to survive in the job market upon graduation from high school till they complete their higher education.

Read more about the Next High School and their concepts in the following article by Liz Segrist:

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Taking A “Gap Year” Between High School and Higher Education

When I was seventeen years old I graduated from high school. I married and took a gap year working in a notebook factory. This turned out to be a good thing for me to do. When I did start college I was ready emotionally and scholastically to take on the challenge. I already knew what it was like to work full-time on the job. Now I knew I wanted to get a degree to work in nursing. I was more determined then ever to get my education. I was serious about it. 

You should consider doing the same thing yourself. It will give you time to reflect and determine what is important to you. This will help you when you start school to realize what a privilege it is to be able to further your education. You will be more determined than ever to apply yourself and make sure you are giving your best when going to school. It will give you a sense of purpose and the determination it will take to complete school

Consider taking a gap year yourself!

Read more about it in this article by Jena Manuel Krugstad.

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Student Loans Is This Really The Way You Want To Start Your Adult Life?

Why would you want to start your life as an adult in debt? Yet when you graduate from high school just to apply for student loans for college that is exactly what you are doing. People are getting out of college with large student loans and they are unable to buy a car or house because they are already in debt upon graduation. There has to be a better way!

Read more in the article by Susan Tompor:

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Real World Education Now That You Have Graduated

A real world education is invaluable. The funny thing is no one will hire you unless you have a degree or have graduated from a certified program of some type, wether it be college or vocational education. The fact is you will not really start learning till you are on the job. I recently tried to explain this to a colleague of mine whose daughter has graduated from nursing school. If her experience was like mine, she has yet to even have started her first IV (intravenous). I learned how to do insertion of IV’s in the vein when I started my first job. So probably will she. The real learning starts on the job. The book learning was nice but practical experience is king. Kirk McDonald speaks of this in the following article when he is talking about learning how to speak computer code so you can get hired:

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Would You Really Want to Spend All That Money To Pursue A Degree That Will Not Help You Get A Job?

dreamstimefree_53847I fly on airplanes everyday and read papers like The Wall Street Journal and USAToday as well as local papers around the country. I also talk with CEO’s, business owners, college professors, and many others and they often agree on one thing, getting a degree does not guarantee getting a job.

Recently a professor from a prominent School of Pharmacy admitted to me that there is a saturation of pharmacist and few jobs to accommodate them.

I have also been reading about the overabundance of lawyers with no jobs to go to. The thing that upsets me is that high school students are not told this when they are applying to law school and pharmacy school. Why is that? It is because the schools want to make money and not go out of business. The professors want to keep their jobs and not be laid off. I understand that. It is about economics.

Yet we doing our young people a disservice if we do not let them know before they make a decision where to go to school and what to study. That is why it is really up to you to research these things before you make a career choice.

Right now people who are graduating with technical degrees from community colleges are averaging sometimes $20,000 more per year upon graduation then some people who have gone to a four year college and graduated with a bachelors degree. There are places on the web you can go to find out wether you are getting your money’s worth by going to college. One such place is You can also go to the U.S. Education Department’s College Scorecard to see the best college to go to with the best return for your future salary rate. You can go to to find out what starting salaries are in varies fields.

Look at these sources before spending tens of thousands of dollars on your education. Get a degree that will guarantee you a job with a great salary. Always continue your education for the rest of your life to increase that salary and have even more opportunities. You can find out more in the following article by Jeffrey J. Selingo:

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College Degrees: Is This A Way To Keep The Elite Above The Common Man?

When I graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1980, to be a manager or head nurse a person needed a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. The Diploma Nurse was a nurse that had graduated from a nursing school that was part of the hospital where the nurses trained. These nurses had received most of their training on the job in the hospital under the teacher and other nurse’s supervision. They had much more practical knowledge and were well trained as nurses when they graduated. They were now being grandfathered out and their schools were being closed.

When I started nursing school training had been moved to the college level. The majority of the training was done in the classroom with very little practical training in the hospital. When I graduated with an Associates Degree in Nursing I had a lot of head knowledge about diseases and treatments, but I had very little practical training in the hospital with hands on nursing. I really had to learn all the hands on nursing while on the job after graduation. I learned how to start intravenous therapy while on the job by following the intravenous therapy nurse around for a day starting IV’s.

I believe this change in educational experience was not to create better nurses because it did not do that. Rather I believe it was to make more money for the colleges to the detriment of the practical training for the nurses.

The head nurse at the hospital I worked for had her bachelor’s degree and it was a well known fact to be in management it was required for a nurse to have their  Bachelor’s Degree in any major, not necessarily nursing.

Now to be in management it is necessary to have at least a Master’s Degree. Preferably this degree will be in nursing. Often the person will have a lesser degree in nursing and then their Master’s is in either business or management. The trend is that the more people get their bachelor’s degree then the requirements are moved up to have your Master’s degree to be in management.

Now that more people are getting their Master’s Degree I expect the requirement will move up for people to have their Doctorate Degree in order to qualify to be in management. This is the way the elite stay elite and they attempt to keep the common man down. If the common man is getting a higher degree, then the elite must stay one step ahead by staying one degree ahead. The person with the highest degree is the one to win the prize. It has nothing to do with that person having the most practical experience.

There is no replacement for practical experience when it comes to knowledge. Tell that to the elite and the colleges that they fund and keep in business. Many older workers with years of experience on the job have seen young people come in to the workplace with degrees and no practical experience at all and then become supervisors or managers. The older workers have to train the young “bosses” with the degrees on how the business runs. Why not promote from within and get managers that actually know the job and business to run the business instead?Does that just make too much common sense?

Maybe we need to reevaluate the way we educate our young. Let us go back to having vocational schools to train our young people for careers instead of worrying about keeping our colleges funded. What are our priorities? Our young people and their well being or keeping colleges in business? Let us make our young people and their well being the priority. Let us train people for the jobs that we need filled to run society and keep our people working. This is how we will make our country strong.

New Year, New Hope, New Career.

I am so happy and proud to come to you this year with all the jobs that are available across the country. Feel your not trained for those jobs? No problem. I will tell you how you can get the training and how you can get it paid for.

The fact of the matter there are more than enough jobs for everyone. We need welders, airline pilots, air traffic controllers, construction workers, and more. Not trained for those jobs no problem. You can go to school for 1 to 2 years to get the training for most of these jobs at a vocational school.

There are a lot of vocational schools through out the country and most of them are very affordable without your having to get large college loans. In some cases the government may help you with grants, in other cases you may be able to get the company you are going to go to work with to pay for your education, sometimes the company will train you themselves.

I hear company owners telling me that they need more mechanics and air conditioning and heating people because they can not find enough applicants. Do not believe the media that there are no jobs out there. That is far from the truth. There are actually more jobs than people to take them.That is why Chinese are being shipped in to take some of the jobs. Do not be left behind. Get the training for these jobs now while they are in high demand.

When you have a trade there is so much you can do with that knowledge. If you are very ambitious you may even someday own your own business by first getting experience in your trade. Then with a few business classes you can start your own business!