Are high school students prepared for employment by graduation?

Dec 23, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

Gov. Cox is enforcing a new rule where job qualifications no longer require a four-year degree....

Gov. Cox is enforcing a new rule where job qualifications no longer require a four-year degree. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Cox is enforcing a new rule where job qualifications no longer require a four-year degree. The change raises the question, what skills do students out of high school or without a degree need? What are they lacking? 

Further, After Gov. Cox’s new rule, people may begin to change their minds about what a high school education can provide in regards to real-world skills.

“Our state board of education put into place a couple years ago the portrait of a graduate,” said Meghan Meredith, the Head of School at Utah Virtual Academy. “Built off of competencies to produce some skills applicable into employment and that can start as early as elementary school.”  

Additionally, Meredith feels it’s about the “how” in teaching and what steps are being taken to develop skills. 

For example, competency based learning, group activities, and exposure to opportunities can really lend a hand in real-world skill development. 

High schoolers have various opportunities in place to learn technical skills before graduating. Career and technical education programs are available to all Utah students. 

Similarly, Whether or not higher education is the end goal for students, it may not be necessary. With re-adjusting applied skills learning into focus, students can leave high school with a better understanding of what they are prepared to do for their community.

However, it may take prioritizing skill-development activities for your high schooler alongside receiving an education or day-to-day classroom knowledge.

“What is the system [of education] set up to produce? What outcomes do we want from our students once they graduate?” Meredith questioned. 

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Are high school students prepared for employment by graduation?