Visions of the Future: National Survey on Education and the Future of Work

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: In a national survey of employers, parents, and high school students conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, respondents indicated that a high school education should prepare students with technical, real-world, and hands-on skills for a job market that's increasingly changing. 

Survey respondents indicated a knowledge of the rapidly changing economy: One-fifth of adults said their job won't exist in 20 years, and one-quarter of high-school students said the job they will hold in 20 years hasn't been invented yet. 

Three-quarters of adults responded that a high school degree should primarily impart real-world skills. Just one-quarter said a degree should focus on providing skills to succeed in higher education. 

The vast majority of the adult respondents – independent of income status – think that high school did not prepare them for their current job. Just 42% of adult respondents believe that “career-ready” describes high school graduates. Among surveyed students, 84% feel they are receiving the skills needed to succeed in college, yet only 60% felt like they have the skills required for the workforce.

Adults, parents, and employers see this decline in preparedness with over 70% of adults saying that high school graduates in the 1950s and 1980s were prepared to succeed in the workforce, but less than half of adults (49%) believe that students graduating high school today are even “somewhat” prepared to succeed. 

Surveyed employers, adults, and students all placed a greater emphasis on internships, entrepreneurial skills, and financial literacy for workforce competitiveness than on high school graduation standards, raising student GPAs, or increasing schoolwide test scores.

In general, students want more technical skills, parents want more real-world experiences, and employers want field experience from high school educations. 

Read the full study HERE

 

Feature Charticle

Employers, Parents, and High School Students' Perspective on the Primary Focus of a High School Degree

Kauffman Foundation

Findings:

  • Three-quarters of adults responded that a high school degree should primarily impart real-world skills versus just one-quarter that said a degree should focus on providing skills to succeed in higher education. 

  • Adults, parents, and even employers see this decline in preparedness with over 70% of adults saying that high school graduates in the 1950s and 1980s were prepared to succeed in the workforce.

  • Surveyed employers, adults, and students all placed a greater emphasis on internships, entrepreneurial skills, and financial literacy for workforce competitiveness than on high school graduation standards, raising student GPAs, or increasing schoolwide test scores.

Read the full study HERE