National Study finds high school students deeply aware of current job demands,

Minneapolis (May 20, 2022) –Today’s high school students are deeply aware of the impact of the epidemic in the job market and they are evaluating their options as they build their career paths, according to the latest question in The Co-Education Pulse survey. The most recent national survey of 14-18 year olds in the United States, which was fielded in January, found that three-quarters heard of a labor shortage and more than one-third were more likely to pursue an education or career. – Demand field.

“The most amazing discovery for me is how insightful, intuitive and engaging this population is when it comes to understanding the career landscape, the impact of student loans and the options available to them in the current environment,” said Jeremy Whitton, President and CEO of ECMC Group. “Today’s students have felt the effects of the epidemic, and they want to create their own path – a path that is shorter than time, more affordable and directly linked to a career – especially in a field where staffing is needed.”

According to the survey, two years after the COVID-19 epidemic, half of high school students no longer consider a four-year college and less than half believe a four-year degree will make them successful. More than half are open to a path other than four-year college, and because of the epidemic, one-third say they feel more comfortable following a shorter path. Nevertheless, 85% feel pressured to pursue a four-year degree.

In addition, and despite the fact that classrooms are largely back to pre-epidemic experience, less than half feel ready for their education after high school.

The findings come from the latest iteration of the ECMC Group Question The Quo Education Pulse survey, which examined the attitudes of high school students about their future education and career aspirations before and after the epidemic. Five surveys of more than 5,300 high school students aged 14-18, conducted in partnership with VICE Media, took place between February 2020 and January 2022 and sought to uncover how adolescents are thinking and planning for their future education and careers. – Changes in the epidemic environment.

Adolescents believe that post-secondary education is not a way Search A career, rather refined and to pursue career options; Employers are expected to play a role in their ongoing education

Seventy-five percent of high school students have a career in mind and 74% believe it is important to determine their career plans when they graduate from high school. Also, 73% think a straight path to a career is essential in post-secondary education and 39% have taken classes in career exploration or participated in a program to help determine their future career path.

Adolescents also see post-secondary education as a lifelong endeavor and hope that employers and the government will play a role. 86% believe that businesses provide formal education and support education by paying extra for student loans, and 91% believe that the government should support education by paying extra for student loans and subsidizing / providing education.

“Two years into the epidemic, and we’re seeing the effects on these students seem to be here,” Whitton said. “The pressures they are feeling come from a wide range of perspectives, including from society, so it is more important than ever that we create, deliver and invest in high-quality education options that meet their needs, as well as those of our economy.”

Additional searches include:

High school students are moving towards education and career keeping in mind the field of demand

  • 75% of adolescents have heard of a workforce shortage
    • Common sources of this information include social media (62%), parents / families (51%) and traditional news media (45%).
  • Adolescents are aware of the labor shortage in demand, many of which do not require a four-year degree: education, healthcare, human services, hospitality, skilled business
  • 35% current affected, more likely to be employed in a demanding career
  • 36% are more likely to pursue an education focused on an affected, in-demand career

General Z is open to a path other than four years of college

  • 51% of adolescents are considering attending a four-year college (20 percent less than in May 2020)
  • 85% say they feel pressured to pursue a four-year degree, while 52% say they are open to a different path
  • 63% say they feel pressure from parents / guardians / families (increase from September 2021)
  • 47% say they feel pressured by society (increase from September 2021)
  • 42% said their high school education should last less than four years and 31% said it should last two years or less

Yet many do not feel ready for the next step

  • Only 39% think that their high school has prepared them for post-secondary education
  • 46% want more formal education throughout their lives

General Z is combining skills — and not necessarily degrees সাথে with the job

  • 52% believe that they can succeed in the skills they acquire from the education they have acquired in three years or less
  • 58% say that a skills-based education (e.g., business skills, nursing, STEM, etc.) is meaningful in today’s world
  • About one-third would prefer to acquire skills through a lifetime vs. a long learning experience (four years or more) through various short (one year or less) experiences.
  • 81% say that learning the skills they need to succeed is an important factor in their decision making after high school.
  • About one-third will consider enrolling in career and technical education if there is a guarantee that they will develop stronger skills.

Cost is still a concern and a factor in the decision making process

  • More than 63% said they would need tuition fees and student loans for what they wanted to do after high school.
  • 59% worried about how they would pay for college (fixed for last two years)
  • 43% say that college costs are the most important factor in their educational decision making, job placement, completion rate and college ranking.

Career and technical education (CTE) is becoming a more visible option

  • More than one-third believe that a CTE path can lead them to success
  • 54% of students are aware of what career and technical education is (13 percent-point increase from February 2020, consistent from September 2021)
  • 33% said they would be more likely to pursue a career and technical education if they had a stronger job guarantee after graduation, and 28% said it would be valued as a four-year degree (consistent from January 2021).

Socio-economic differences can increase income inequality

  • 19-percent-point difference between students from low-income families and those from high-income families who believe that post-high school education is necessary (50% vs. 69%)
  • 34-percent-point difference (40% vs. 74%) between students from low-income families and those from high-income families who are considering a four-year college.
  • Students from low-income families generally have less access to career exploration resources
  • Earnings are significantly more important for students from high-income families than from low-income families

“Teenagers keep telling us that real-world learning experiences will lead them to success in their careers,” Wheaton said. “However, despite their perspective on the job they want to enter, they clearly need more information about what it takes to get there. Only by working together as policy makers, business, academics and apprentices can we illuminate all the effective paths that lead to a promising future with an upward career path. ”

The surveys are part of the ECMC Group’s Question The Quo campaign, which aims to enable students to learn about the various higher education options available and find the right career path for them.

Survey method
The ECMC Group, in partnership with VICE Media, conducted the four national questions The Quo Education Pulse survey. The first survey of 1,177 high school students was conducted February 25-March 2, 2020; The second survey of 1,025 high school students was conducted May 14-20, 2020; The third survey of 1,001 high school students was conducted January 4-19, 2021; The fourth survey of 1,052 high school students was conducted on September 20-October. 3, 2021; The fifth survey of 1,062 high school students was conducted January 23-February. 11, 2022.

About ECMC Group

ECMC Group is a non-profit corporation that helps students succeed by creating, providing and investing in innovative learning opportunities. Headquartered in Minneapolis, ECMC Group and its companies focus on advancing learning opportunities through family financial tools and services; Nonprofit career education; And innovative, effective, and mission-linked funding for programs to help students achieve their academic and professional goals and tackle the future of work. To learn more, visit

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