It's that time of year. Student graduates have crossed the tassel from one side of the cap to the other, parents are both teary-eyed and relieved, and millions of wide-eyed young adults will be flooding both college campuses and the workforce.
For young college grads just entering the job market, the news is upbeat. One recent survey found that employers are planning to hire 9.6 percent more graduates in the U.S. than they did last year. Not surprisingly, the most hirable major continues to be engineering, the degree of choice for approximately 72 percent of companies. Other popular majors are business (68 percent) and computer science (58 percent). Sought-after personal traits for first-timers aren't that much different from what companies seek from experienced workers: critical thinking, problem solving, being a team player, professional demeanor and strong work ethic.
[CLICK HERE to read student profiles, "The College Degrees and Skills Employers Most Want In 2015," from Forbes, April 15, 2015.]
[CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast, "Podcast: Which countries are top in IT?" from World Economic Forum, April 17, 2015.]
For high school graduates, the competition to get into the top universities continues to be fierce. However, schools today aren't just looking for all A's and high test scores, they want "well-rounded" students, which means even 4.0 students might benefit by playing a sport, musical instrument or joining other school organizations.
This year, some students have been accepted into Ivy League schools without the standard qualifications. For example, the daughter of a second-generation teen mom and five-time convicted felon was accepted into Yale, Dartmouth, Duke and Cornell with a less-than-perfect application. One young horse lover has been set on discovering a cure for Laminitis (an incurable foot disease of horses) since age 9, and has carved a path for herself to do just that. Some say they are poor test takers, others admitted to earning a few B grades. All are driven to succeed for a variety of different reasons and most are passionate about something, be it sports, science, art -- even if it's something on which they can't necessarily build a career. You can read their interesting profiles here:
[CLICK HERE to read student profiles, "How I got into an Ivy League school," from CNN Money, April 16, 2015.]
Among last year's crop of high school graduates, 2 million out of 2.9 million enrolled in college. About a third of those, 706,000, enrolled in two-year colleges, an increasingly popular option to help pursue a higher-paying job without the higher price tag. Another option for grads is to pursue an apprenticeship to acquire skills while working -- some of which pay salaries up to $50,000.
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "What's in Store for This Year's High School Grads," from U.S. Department of Labor, April 17, 2015.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "4 Reasons for High School Graduates to Turn to Community College," from U.S. News & World Report, April 16, 2015.]
[CLICK HERE to visit the website, "Apprenticeship is win-win for both employers and workers," from U.S. Department of Labor, April 9, 2015.]
When it comes to paying for college, one recent survey found 75 percent of parents and grandparents are confident their children will attend college, but 59 percent have not yet begun to save for it. New options are currently being explored to help, such as repurposing funds for current tax credits to create a savings account for every child at birth. This option would enable deposits to qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit -- long before the child attends college. Another option is to allow parents to contribute to a Roth Account for Youth Savings (RAYS) for long-term growth with the flexibility to use it for higher education, homeownership, medical expenses and/or retirement.
[CLICK HERE to read the news release, "Savingforcollege.com Survey Reveals American Families Are Still Unsure of Best Way to Save for College," from SavingForCollege.com, April 16, 2015.]
[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Why America needs a new savings account for children," from World Economic Forum, April 8, 2015.]
Paying for college is just one of the many priorities that fight for a share of our current income and assets. If we can help you develop a strategy that can make you feel more confident in your retirement now while saving for future college expenses, please give us a call.
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