Culture Post: 55% of High Schoolers Don’t Think College is Needed for Successful Career

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.

Teens today only want one thing: to forge their own success and happiness in their future careers. A recent survey of 2,000 American high school students found that although a third of respondents have no post-graduation plans, 82 percent agree the most important thing to them is to do something they’re passionate about, regardless of what career they choose.

Seven in 10 (69%) believe it’s important to have a job immediately after graduating, while others consider higher education more polarizing. Over half of students surveyed (55%) believe college isn’t a requirement for a successful career, compared to 45 percent who think it’s mandatory.

For students who haven’t considered any alternatives to higher education, half the poll (51%) explained they didn’t know enough about other options, such as career paths in the skilled trades — hinting that students may not have access to those options in school.

Commissioned by Wolverine and conducted by OnePoll, the study revealed two-thirds saw how important essential workers and skilled trade careers were and continue to be during the pandemic, prompting 45 percent of students to show more interest in pursuing essential jobs.

The results also show students feel more pressure to pursue traditional higher education after high school than alternatives — a third (35%) have felt pressure to attend a traditional four-year college. Still, only 18 percent have felt the same pressure for vocational schools. Three out of five (62%) say the pressure comes from their parents.

Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters (72%) believe looking at alternative options to a traditional four-year college is important. However, three in 10 have considered vocational schools, with 46 percent contemplating community college and 41 percent thinking about having a job immediately after graduation.

Two in three students say their schools offer vocational classes that teach them practical skills and essential careers. Meanwhile, 65 percent favor their vocational courses over their core curriculum. Overall, 79 percent of high schoolers believe high schools should teach vocational skills.

Source: StudyFinds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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