In a recent survey conducted by Robert W. Thompson, data suggested that a higher education may indeed be inadequate preparation for graduating into the workplace. In a utopian realm, students graduating directly from college and into a stern job with career intentions would be something that would be convenient for any post-graduate. However, the statistics gathered by Thompson in an October, 2000 issue of HR magazine suggest otherwise. In the survey article, Thompson noted that fifty-five percent of 1,014 U. S. orkers gave high schools a grade of “C” and noted that improvement must be made for graduates to be ready to work after the graduation ceremonies of high school. Thompson noted that only sixteen percent of the workers gave high schools an “A”, while thirty-two percent said a “B” was appropriate in which the research was conducted by Rutgers and Connecticut University respectively. The concern is valid for two reasons. The concern is valid because the workforce is struggling to acquire work-ready employees in a rapid working world.

The second concern is that the high schools are having a bad reputation based on the statistics. High schools should not only be preparing their students for work, but they should be praising their successes while they are still in high school. The numbers of the data gather show an alarming rate of high schools not having students prepared, which is eighty-four percent of high schools given that a grade of “A’ is students ready to work and prepared to work. This data shows that high schools clearly need to work on preparation in the classroom.

Along with being prepared, high schools need students to focus on professional skills, organizational skills, time management skills, and communication skills. All of these skills together would call for an improvement in preparation for students “graduating into the workplace”. With these high schools being sampled in the study, the study clearly justifies that high schools are not making enough of an effort to have students prepared to work. High schools must make action plans with teachers along with programs during and after school to improve student preparation for work.

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These programs could consist of volunteer work for students to visit job sites before obtaining and maintaining a job or professional position. After the action plan, students should meet with teachers to consult and have a game plan of what to expect during the hiring process. Teachers could implement strategies in workshops for students, such as interview techniques, resume’ building, cover letter guidelines, and reference and thank you letter tips. By using the professional skills obtained in the teacher workshops, students will have a confident mindset when applying for and obtaining a new job.

This would result in a higher increase of approval from U. S. workers’ responses to students being ready for work after graduation. The result would increase student awareness to the importance of employment, while the numbers of employers success rates would increase at all companies who hire high school graduates, but the number of graduation rates would also increase due to the implication of having new professional workshops to ready graduating students for work.

Students will be able to apply the idea of having strong communication skills, which would include a nice friendly handshake upon arrival to a job interview, from having proper dress attire at a prospective employer’s site, to having the proper communication skills while working on the job. Some communicational skills students would acquire through the workshops would consist of meeting deadlines, maintaining a workload, having a strong attendance record, and asking questions when help is needed. Students would have a new outlook on future goals as well when they see a strong increase in their successes at work.

Students will use their confidence from maintaining a job at the workplace to maintaining high grades while taking courses at college. This would give students the concept of improvement and growing free of complacency. While Thompson’s article does suggest that only sixteen percent of students coming out of high school may be ready to work, by using the workshops and professional programs for students while they are still in high school, then high schools should expect the percentage to increase drastically if the teachers and students work accordingly to maintain and grasp the concept and importance of preparation.


Thompson, Robert W. (2000). HR Magazine. “Graduating to the WORKPLACE – survey shows higher education inadequate preparation – Statistical Data Included”. Obtained on November 29, 2010 from the website: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_/ai_67414169


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