Relevance: School to Work

Contrary to what you may think, having high-powered technical skills or an advanced and specialized education are not all it takes to land a good job in today’s job market. Recent articles show what employers look for in a new-hire.

At the top of the list are people who can communicate effectively, think critically and logically, and who continue to learn throughout their lives. Also high on the list are people who can demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviors, responsibility and adaptability. And, finally, employers want people who can work well with others and be productive members of a team.

If you currently are a student, every time you solve a math problem, write an essay, learn to use new software, or work on a group project, you are developing skills and attitudes that will help you land a good job someday. That’s one reason why high school dropouts have such a bleak employment picture. They don’t believe what they are learning in school has any relevance to their future needs. This is one belief that holds them back.

Teachers who are dedicated to their students’ learning make the extra effort to draw parallels from the subject they are teaching to the ultimate uses in everyday life – especially in today’s job market. Yes, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why you are reading Shakespeare, until you realize that in his plays, he is opening a window of understanding into human behaviors and the motivations behind human actions. In your future workplaces, you will see these characters played out before your very eyes.

With this new school year, if you’re thinking of dropping out, please think again. Give yourself the opportunity to explore the possibilities of your future. The persistence and resiliency that you develop by staying in school, and seeing it through, will serve you well every day of your life. The schoolwork that seems dumb to you now is really developing skills for later, and by sticking with it, you are preparing yourself to successfully ride the winds of change that blow every day.