A Real Solution to Today's Education Crisis
A Real Solution to Today's Education Crisis
1 in 5 Millennials is currently back living
with their parents after college. The unsettling part of that statistic is that it includes not just recent graduates in their early 20s but even "kids" in their 30s. A shocking 29% of young people move back in with their parents between the ages of 25 and 34, the ages when, a generation ago, most people were building careers and starting families. 60% of young adults also rely on their parents for financial support. A generation ago only 1 out of 10 kids "boomeranged" home to their parents, and the idea of college grads relying on their parents for money was almost unheard of.
With college tuition rising and a poor job market the new norm, grads in their 20s and 30s are feeling the pinch. For most it takes years after graduation to find a job that requires a college education. Millennials out of college spend years struggling to find a career. Even if they haven't moved back in with their parents, chances are they rely on them to pay the rent.
What's causing this phenomenon of boomerang children? And more importantly, how can students avoid becoming one - or their parents avoid housing or supporting them?
Boomeranging: It's not just the recession
First, the bad news. The trend towards boomerang kids isn't new. According to the Pew Research Center, "boomeranging" has been on the rise since 1980. This trend was accelerated by the 2007-2009 Great Recession, but, despite the hopes of parents everywhere, the end of the recession hasn't reversed the growth of boomerang households. That means that the problem isn't just the economy, it's America's educational system.
A 2012 study conducted by the Harvard Business School gives some clues as to the source of this American educational malaise. As Forbes Magazine contributor Steve Denning explains, the study reveals that far from being simple stagnation, American graduates entering the business world have lost the "enterprising can-do" spirit that made America a world leader.
American schools flunking out
A survey of CEOs conducted this year by Hult International Business School highlights the problems
afflicting American higher education, particularly business schools. Despite their good grades and impressive resumes, the CEOs surveyed "said students lack self-awareness, can’t work in teams, have poor critical thinking skills and come up short on creativity." America's schools today, they explained in a white paper, are "better structured for the Industrial Revolution rather than the Information Age".
For a student - or a parent - who is investing
hundreds of thousands of dollars (that's right, the average cost of a bachelor's degree is about $200,00 for private schools and nearly $100,000 for public ones) the scathing criticism of American higher education is a bitter pill, tempting us to ignore rather than address it.
So what's the solution? Learn to be innovative. Find the success stories, the movers-and-shakers, and learn from them. As the aforementioned Hult School survey notes, business leaders today understand that academic credentials and glowing recommendations mean very little. They've come to favor real world experience and the kind of "soft skills" that are rarely taught in US schools. But if not in the US, where can you go to develop the abilities more and more employers are demanding?
Israel, the land of innovation
Today, Israeli schools are working to fill this need, capitalizing on the Start-up Nation's vibrant business sector by exporting the country's knowhow to the US. The startup company Lirom Global Education
, for example, specifically addresses this growing demand by American business for "soft skills" and the "can-do", get-the-job-done mindset that has made the Jewish State so attractive to American employers.
That Israeli business culture is the reason why so many American market leaders have opened up shop in Israel including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, McAfee, and Oracle. Now Lirom is seeking to share Israel's business secrets with American students by giving academic training programs and enabling both grads and undergrads to intern in the field of their choice while continuing their studies.
Offering internship programs
with market leaders, year and semester abroad programs, and accredited academic study, Lirom works hand-in-hand with colleges in both the US and Israel to bridge the "innovation gap
" and help inspire a generation of American entrepreneurs. Lirom offers programs for grads, undergrads, and even prospective college students, giving them a leg up on their academic and professional careers. Consider it a vaccination against Boomerang Child Syndrome.
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