November 29, 2010

Self-Reliance is Necessary Now

This man submitted nearly 2,000 job applications but was never hired. So he wised up and started his own business, which is doing well. He used his personal experience to come up with the idea for his business. Smart! This is the kind of thinking that pays off in the new economy. It's how our children will need to think.

November 22, 2010

The Delicate Balance Between Tech-Savvy and Tech-Addiction

One of the Seven Strengths for the 21st century that our kids will need is to be tech-savvy. This means they need to be very comfortable with computers and how they work.

Difficulties arise when kids go beyond tech-savvy to become tech-addicted, particularly to social media. This article does a great job of showing that too much time spend on computers and other tech toys is likely causing changes in kids' brains that make them very distractible. It also takes time away from other important activities that are vital to their development, particularly reading.

How do you maintain the delicate balance between tech-savvy and tech-addiction? You'll find out in early 2011 when Thriving in the 21st Century is published. Stay tuned!

November 19, 2010

Help Your Teen Understand the Enormous Federal Debt

Most of us don’t understand the extent of our government’s indebtedness, but we do know that we’re saddling our kids and grandchildren with a ton of debt. No one’s happy about that, but what can we do?

Here’s an interesting interactive graphic that will help you and your teen get a handle on exactly what can be done to reduce deficits. It’ll get you both talking about where cuts should be made and/or taxes should be increased. Each decision you make reduces the debt….but also has repercussions.

Try it and see what I mean. It will help your teen (and you) understand what kind of tough decisions need to be made to get us back on track.

November 17, 2010

Why Jobs are Disappearing

Here's a short but informative video that explains why jobs are disappearing. Note how few people are needed to build a car these days. The location of the factory is another red flag. Automation and off-shoring are changing the U.S. employment situation.

We need to be aware of things like this. No, it's not good for American jobs. But it's better to prepare our children for the future as we see it, instead of the past that we were prepared for. Telling our kids what we were told ("Get good grades and a college diploma and you'll always have a job") isn't going to be very helpful.

November 15, 2010

Best and Worst U.S. Industries

Here's an interesting post that lists best and worst industries in the U.S. in terms of revenue growth or lack of it. When combined with my post last week regarding career areas that are growing (or not), you should get a clearer picture of job areas that are worth considering for your older children who will face the world of work in the next decade.

November 12, 2010

Which Career Areas are Growing?

Here's an excellent resource: a spreadsheet that shows the change in the number of jobs in a variety of careers; stats are for the time period May 2008 to May 2009.

The first page shows general career areas; click on the link "all job catagories(sic)" to see specific jobs. Note that frequently off-shored jobs are italicized. Numbers are from the BLS.

Paints a bleak picture, doesn't it? But some areas are doing better than others, which gives you an idea of where the least affected areas are, i.e. those to encourage your kids to look into for future employment.

November 10, 2010

Here's Your Diploma....and Your Bill for $24K

According to a recent survey, the average new college grad owes $24,000 in student loan debt at a time when the unemployment rate for college grads has set a record by jumping from 5.8% to one year!

Keep in mind that the lower-than-average unemployment rate of college grads is partly due to them taking jobs that don't require a college degree because they need something to help pay back the loans that come due within a year after graduation. That explains why there are an awful lot of college-educated truck drivers and burger flippers at work these days.

November 8, 2010

Entrepreneurism vs. College

The writer of this article makes the case that increased entrepreneurism is what our country will need in the future, and that a college education is highly overrated when it comes to preparing people to fix what ails us economically.

There are many interesting points in this article, and some thought-provoking comments after it, adding up to more evidence that we need to be raising entrepreneurial kids!

November 5, 2010

Public Schools are Old School

The public school system was designed to train children for the 20th century world of work in factories and offices. Those days are gone, but the school system just keeps doing things the way they've always been done.

To truly prepare our children for the 21st century, public school is not the answer. But maybe you've already wondered about this. You might be interested in reading "Ten Signs That You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child."

November 3, 2010

Underemployed College Grads: There are LOTS of Them

It's been a long time since most people went to college solely for the purpose of expanding their minds. In recent years, it's been all about getting that degree so you can get a good job. Colleges and universities didn't disagree with this view; in fact, many emphasized it by bragging on each graduating class's employment rate.

But the stakes are higher now: students graduate with tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and they expect a way to pay it back so they can get on with their lives----and with earning a decent living.

That's why this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "Why Did 17 Million Students Go To College?" is so striking. The author points out that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 17 million college grads employed in jobs that don't require a college degree. Hmm, how are they going to pay back all that student debt on a lower salary than they'd planned to earn?

November 1, 2010

Are Schools Killing Our Children's Creativity?

In a rapidly changing economic environment, thinking creatively can help people make good decisions when faced with challenging problems. Our children will need to be creative in order to make a living in the 21st century. But are schools crippling their creativity? This video makes the case that they are.

What do you think?