Young, Educated and BROKE

Posted on October 30, 2010. Filed under: Economy | Tags: , , , , , , |

        I know that I have written a blog post similar to this topic about education still leaving some in poverty, but I just feel so passionately about sharing this as an educated individual and a mother of children that will be educated and joining the workforce in the future. The number of college graduates leaving college and not finding work is alarming. Generation Y and some of the fringe X’ers are being named “The Boomerang Generation”. Why? Because they leave for college only to return back to their parents’ homes. Or we have the non traditional adult students that return to school in hopes of a better financial future, only to face the same outcome of no new employment opportunities or no increase in pay from what they were making without higher level education.

      Did you realize that 68% of baby boomers are supporting an adult child? This is not good news for the economy. What are these graduates supposed to do when they can not find employment or become underemployed? They can’t make it on their own, so they are moving in with mom and dad or asking mom and dad for supplements to their lackluster incomes. This puts a huge burden on the boomers who should be enjoying their golden years, yet they are more rapidly depleting their already deflated retirements. If the younger generations don’t find new ways of making money, then boomers are going to go broke and then who is going to support them?

     So is this only a problem here on US soil? Absolutely not. I read a Newsweek article titled “Smart, Young, and Broke”. It focused in on China’s new underclass, the educated of China! What?! Yes, there is no typo. China’s new underclass is educated. The skilled laborers are actually faring much better than those who had families make huge sacrifices for education. As in America, China has pushed education and then opportunities it provides, but with colleges doubling in size, producing larger numbers of graduates- the graduate rate is outpacing that of the growth of new jobs. Those applying for positions in large cities such as Shanghai and Beijing are shocked and feel as if they have been somehow “duped” into believing a better life is ahead.

(Actual photo of a Chinese student as he sits on the street to beg for money to eat and survive. The educated have played and important role in the economic development of the country, but without jobs many are becoming the new educated poor.)

     We need education in order to create better societies. We see countries with higher levels of education among their populations as more developed, wealthier, healthier and overall much safer and comfortable to live. We should never stop pushing education, but we need to stop believing that it it the magic ticket to financial “comfortabilty”. It needs to be viewed as a necessity, a rite of passage to create a better society. Education is key to a country’s overall health, but we all need to look at a plan B. Stop relying on others to hire you…..look for ways to build a business to hire and build more prosperity because of what you can do, not what others can do for you. This country was founded on those who were inventive, boldly stepped out to build new business and services, and those wanting to live their dreams through new opportunities.

       There are opportunities everywhere for new businesses. From dog walking, babysitting, maintenance services, new product inventions, online services, networking businesses and so much more. You have to find the right fit for you, but your plan B can easily turn into your plan A that is far better than you could imagine. You have the freedom and power to change your future and your present. Just step boldly…..you never know if it will succeed unless you try!

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Shouldn’t a Degree Keep You From Poverty?

Posted on October 4, 2010. Filed under: Entrepreneurship | Tags: , , , , , |

http://uspoverty.change.org/blog/view/shouldnt_a_college_degree_keep_you_out_of_poverty

         I had to discuss this point and link to this brief article because as I have looked around at many of my friends….they hold Bachelor’s and many of them hold Master’s Degrees, but they are struggling to find work. I personally faced the same fate after going back to school to pursue a new degree…..when I was finished I was left with student loans and no prospect of work.  With a background in education and a belief in education I am blown  away with how education is pushed to keep us from being poor, yet truly it is not protecting Americans from becoming poor in this recession.

       I realize that many specialty areas such as nursing, medicine, law and computer science may still be in high demand. But for many that graduate with a Bachelors in business, marketing, education, psychology and so on…..are not finding the jobs that they had hoped for. Some may say people need to be careful then what they major in, but if it takes 4 to 6 years to graduate…..a field that may have been in a higher demand may be upon graduation facing budget cuts, moved overseas, or be basically non-existent. Even medicine, law, sciences, and technology are not completely safe either for the future. With new government mandates;possible universal health care coverage; people not having enough money to sue, divorce, or legally get advised there really is no true safe degree.

     What was also interesting and I am sure very familiar were the comments to the article. One in particular pointed to the fact that many successful peers had never graduated college, but started their own businesses. Another comment spoke about cleaning houses or lawn maintenance paying $30/hour….while when you look in the classifieds many degree holders are looking at around $10-14/hour.

       Starting your own business is not guaranteed either and can be expensive, but becoming an entrepreneur within a company with a business plan in place may be the safest way to begin your own company. Network marketing has changed and looks much different than it did years ago and truly is your own business, but without all the headache. It is like buying into a franchise…..and your particular store can be the most successful if you push for it. But unlike a franchised store you are not having large start-up costs or huge overheads, no stocking products or dealing with  legalities all give the new entrepreneurs of our age a huge edge. With global markets able to become partners and customers in these companies…..you are almost limitless in your opportunity to grow and the best part is the income is residual. It is not get rich quick, but it is get rich smart and much more quickly than any other method I have found…minus inheritance or lottery of course. 

        I still stand by education as something of importance as it allows us to become more developed, mature and prepared for world markets……but I do know that it is not a guarantee of success. You, your network of contacts, and your overall drive and pursuance and perseverance are all major factors in creating your own success.

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