The economy appears to be improving a bit, but unemployment and underemployment continues. Figuring out how to support ourselves and families is a constant challenge.

With the new school year underway, I believe there are some classes that should be mandatory in high school. Rather than simply learning information, we have to know how it can be applied to lucrative employment and life skills. Following are some classes that I’d like to be required curriculum.

  • Basic Finances. Credit card debt is easy to acquire and difficult to eliminate. It’s shocking how many people don’t understand the simple fact that you have to pay for what you charge, and the overwhelming stress of debt, until they are drowning in it. Everyone should take at least one class on budgeting, banking, credit, and investments.
  • Work Ethics. The business setting has changed drastically in recent generations. Understanding professionalism with coworkers and management is key to company and career advancement.
  • Professional Attire. Most new grads have little knowledge of acceptable work attire, and how could they? A class on appropriate dress for various professions would be valuable.
  • Educational Application. High school coursework, and for those who go on to college, the tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, is of little value if graduates do not know how to translate that investment into lucrative and rewarding employment.
  • Self-employment. Due to financial and employment challenges, most everyone will run their own part or full-time business at some point. Knowing how to market a business, run it, and manage bookkeeping is vital to its success.
  • Social Media. Social media is an important form of communication that has numerous benefits. It also has critical consequences. A class on social media etiquette, benefits, and ramifications is essential.
  • Compassion. We are not in this world alone. Treating co-workers and clients respectfully may not have a financial return but will benefit us in the long-run.
  • Environmental Consequences of Work. Learning ways to commute to work and complete our employment responsibilities with the least impact on the environment is vital to all of our futures.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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