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High School Graduates Not Prepared for College or Career Decisions, National Survey Finds

In a recent national survey, college and career readiness company YouScience reported that 75% of high school graduates are not ready to make college and career decisions. This is despite the fact that the National Center for Education Statistics reported that in the 2018-2019 school year, the graduation rate for high schools was 86%, the highest it had been since 2010. The “Post Graduation Readiness Report” polled more than 500 students from the 2019 through 2022 graduating classes about their sense of readiness for college and/or career opportunities. 

The 75% graduates in the YouScience survey reported they felt “moderately, slightly, or not at all prepared” for what might come next after high school. Significantly, 62% felt that high school should prepare them for future careers, but 57% reported five or fewer conversations with teachers or counselors about opportunities following graduation, and a large 80% felt they “would have been more engaged in their learning if they better understood their own aptitudes and potential career opportunities.”

Based on their survey, YouScience suggests that K–12 schools can better help prepare students for the future with aptitude and skills tests, exposure to various career options, and counseling, beginning as early as the eighth grade. “Education leaders and industry must come together to help our students better understand themselves and their opportunities beyond high school,” said Edson Barton, founder and CEO of YouScience. “If students rely on family and friends for direction, they can be limited in their dreams and fail to fulfill their potential. In large part, our talent gap is also a career exposure gap.” YouScience said it will release further data in the coming months. To obtain the report, visit this page.

YouScience currently serves over 7,000 educational and career institutions and provides an integrated college and career readiness platform that delivers aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications, based on research and industry input. To learn more, visit the YouScience site.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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