Levelheaded advice for students and parents on the best path to take from high school to employment.

THERE IS LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

WHAT PARENTS AND STUDENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NAVIGATING SCHOOL TO PREPARE FOR THE JOBS OF TOMORROW

A guide to help “dispel our fears about life after college.”

As Chronicle of Higher Education contributing editor Selingo (College (Un)bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, 2013) writes in the introduction, in the recent past, a college degree almost certainly guaranteed a job after graduation. But times have changed, and the author uses interviews with college-age students, employers, and academicians to explain to readers just what those changes are and how to contend with them. Although high school students might receive high grades in college-prep classes, do well on the SAT, and show a variety of extracurricular items on their applications, as well as have parents and advisers who lead them every step of the way through high school and college, this doesn’t force young adults to figure out how to make independent decisions on their own. “For many twenty-somethings,” writes the author, “life to this point has been like a board game, the goal to get to the end quickly while picking up as many game pieces as possible.” For employers, this lack of critical-thinking skills, coupled with a deficiency in work experiences, makes many new graduates undesirable hires. Some of the solutions Selingo adeptly presents include taking a gap year between high school and college, as many students do in Europe, to travel and explore options before committing to a college program. The author also suggests paid and unpaid internships and apprenticeships that put students into the workforce while gaining an education. The takeaway from Selingo’s solid research is that education is important but not to the point where life experiences are ignored. Ultimately, students must approach college and the workforce on an individual basis, as the old route just doesn’t hold true for most young people in today’s global economy and workforce.

Levelheaded advice for students and parents on the best path to take from high school to employment.

Pub Date: April 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-238886-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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INSIDE AMERICAN EDUCATION

THE DECLINE, THE DECEPTION, THE DOGMAS

American schools at every level, from kindergarten to postgraduate programs, have substituted ideological indoctrination for education, charges conservative think-tanker Sowell (Senior Fellow/Hoover Institution; Preferential Polices, 1990, etc.) in this aggressive attack on the contemporary educational establishment. Sowell's quarrel with "values clarification" programs (like sex education, death-sensitizing, and antiwar "brainwashing") isn't that he disagrees with their positions but, rather, that they divert time and resources from the kind of training in intellectual analysis that makes students capable of reasoning for themselves. Contending that the values clarification programs inspired by his archvillain, psychotherapist Carl Rogers, actually inculcate values confusion, Sowell argues that the universal demand for relevance and sensitivity to the whole student has led public schools to abdicate their responsibility to such educational ideals as experience and maturity. On the subject of higher education, Sowell moves to more familiar ground, ascribing the declining quality of classroom instruction to the insatiable appetite of tangentially related research budgets and bloated athletic programs (to which an entire chapter, largely irrelevant to the book's broader argument, is devoted). The evidence offered for these propositions isn't likely to change many minds, since it's so inveterately anecdotal (for example, a call for more stringent curriculum requirements is bolstered by the news that Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton without taking any courses in economics, math, biology, chemistry, history, sociology, or government) and injudiciously applied (Sowell's dismissal of student evaluations as responsible data in judging a professor's classroom performance immediately follows his use of comments from student evaluations to document the general inadequacy of college teaching). All in all, the details of Sowell's indictment—that not only can't Johnny think, but "Johnny doesn't know what thinking is"—are more entertaining than persuasive or new.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 1993

ISBN: 0-02-930330-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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