Have a look at any job posting website or physical job board and browse the qualifications for the jobs there. Most jobs will insist on a bare minimum of grade 12, and many of those want even higher education like College or University. A very few will say some high school is required. But what’s the big deal as long as you can do what the job requires?
Well there’s two things here that are important to know. The first thing is that in 2014, there happen to be a lot of people who are either working at present or looking for work. There are also people who aren’t looking for work right now, but are in school only because they can’t find work, but if the job market picks up they’ll join those looking for work. So we’ve got a lot of people looking for jobs and that means a lot of people for employers to choose from.
The second reality is that there aren’t a large number of jobs available in all areas. Depending on where you live, you may have industries that are laying off people because they are moving their factories to other countries where people will work for less money, or the governments there don’t charge as much tax. Small business owners and big box stores are saying that people are being more cautious about spending their money, and so they don’t make as much and can’t hire as many people as they have done in the past.
So we’ve got a situation where there are a lot of people and not enough jobs to go around. Agreed? Good. Now for a moment I’m going to ask you to look at this situation from the viewpoint of an employer. So you are running a company and you want it to be successful. One of the ways you will determine your success is how much money your organization makes over the year. If you don’t make money at all, your business fails. So to succeed and guarantee you stay in business you need bigger profits.
So the question becomes how to make the most money. Any organization will tell you that the most important asset a company has is the people who work there. So as an employer you want to hire the best minds you can. So what is ‘best’? Well it could be the brightest thinkers, the fastest, the most dependable, the most caring; it’s going to depend largely on the products or services you provide for people to buy. If you hire the best people available, your chances of making better products and offering better services goes up, and so do your profits.
Okay, so now how do you find the best people? Ah this is where things get interesting. You start by knowing what qualifications and skills you find most desirable in whomever you want working for you. Armed with this information, you do some advertising to let everyone know what you are looking for, and then you invite anyone with those skills and qualifications to apply. When you find the people who are closest to what you are looking for, you extend an offer to pay them for their services and voila, you have hired an employee.
So what’s all this got to do with grade 12? Good question and you deserve an answer. Believe me I’m getting there, I’m just setting it up for you – trust me.
So right now with so many people out of work and wanting to work, the employer is in the position of wanting the very best. Because there are so many people to choose from, not only can the employer expect to have people apply who meet their minimum requirements, they are finding that there are a lot of unemployed people who exceed what they may have otherwise set as their criteria. In other words, there are a lot of people with their grade 12 already, so why not as for post secondary education as a mandatory requirement as see if we can get enough people to apply for us to choose from? And they are finding a lot of people are knocking on their doors with that education and more.
So because many people are out of work, here’s the pecking order from employers to choose from: Doctorates, working on Doctorates, Masters (MBA), working on their Masters, University, working on their University, College, working on their College, Highschool, highschool incomplete but with 30 years or more employment history, Highschool incomplete but in school working on it, dropout with little or no real job experience. I’m missing some others in this order but you see the point?
Does this pecking order mean that someone who drops out of school and has no experience can never get a job? No it doesn’t. Does it mean someone who drops out of school with no experience has the odds of getting a job stacked against them? Yes it does. And finally and most importantly, does it mean that someone who drops out and has no experience who DOES get a job is likely to be in a minimum wage job and passed over for promotions at some point in their work and the job given to someone else who has their grade 12 or better? YES IT DOES.
And this is your best reason for staying in school: maximizing your earnings in the future by keeping all your options open now.