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School & Education

Long school days and endless homework sessions sometimes make it difficult for teens to understand the long-term benefits of education. However, it is important to realize that teens benefit from education in several ways, including:

  • Increasing future job prospects
  • Allowing for college education opportunities
  • Improving social satisfaction
  • Establishing grounds for higher earning potential

This article will explain how staying in school can affect a teen’s future job prospects and earnings. You will also find out how to choose an educational path that prepares you for getting a job and building a career.

Employment Prospects

Students who complete their high school diplomas are more likely to qualify for employment than students who drop out. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor released information showing that high school dropouts are 72 percent more likely than high school graduates to end up unemployed. The lack of a high school diploma is also linked to criminal behavior. The Bureau of Justice Statistics says that only 46 percent of people in prison have a high school diploma. Spending time in prison can also affect a person’s chances of getting a good job. If you want to build a successful career, you have to go to school and get an education.

Potential Salary

People with high school diplomas earn more than people who drop out. In 2005, high school dropouts earned an average annual salary of only $17,299, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education. People with high school diplomas earned an average annual salary of $26,933. After 45 years of work, this adds up to a difference of $433,530. Your education level also affects how much wealth you are able to accumulate. The Alliance for Excellent Education also says that households headed by someone who graduated high school accumulate 10 times more wealth than households headed by someone who dropped out of high school. Completing your education opens up doors to jobs teens might not have thought possible.

Education and Job Planning

Teens who get an education have a variety of career opportunities available to them. Choosing the right high school classes can make it easier to plan for a career. When planning your school schedule, it is important to take classes that will help you plan your future. You should not schedule a class just because a group of friends wants you to take the class. When scheduling classes, ask a guidance counselor or teacher which courses will help you achieve your career goals. If you want to be an accountant, it may be helpful to take an introductory accounting course or business math course. Students who want to enroll in medical school someday should take science courses like chemistry, biology and physics.

If you plan to go off to college, ask a college admissions counselor which courses you need to complete. Most schools require incoming students to complete a minimum number of credits in math, English, science and social studies. If you plan to major in a specific course of study, you may also have to complete courses in that field.

Choosing a Course of Study

It is more difficult to choose classes when you do not have a specific career path in mind. Teachers and guidance counselors are available to help you choose classes that will prepare you for college, trade school or employment. Your guidance counselor may also be able recommend tools to help you pick a career path. Some students complete skills surveys that help match their personal attributes to specific careers. Someone who likes working with people might be advised to pursue a career in a field like social work or medicine. Students who like working with their hands may enjoy careers in the skilled trades.

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