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Young Adults Pursue the Real Careers

High school graduates no longer need to get higher education. Young adults are officially chasing the real high-paying jobs- working at fast-food restaurants. Stores and restaurants within the United States are increasing their minimum wage so high that jobs with degree requirements are no longer worth it. College enrollment dropped by just under 1 million students this past year, the most significant drop in enrollment in a decade. Half of that drop was in community colleges. Logically it makes sense; most of the jobs only requiring a two-year degree do not pay as much as the high school-educated students’ jobs. Then why would a graduating senior dink around with college applications when it makes more sense to get a job in the fast-food sector? After four years in undergraduate classes, the average student has $30,000 in debt. If that student were to get a job at the Bank of America, they would get $25 per hour, totaling 52K per year. After four years, it would be around 200K. To top it all off, 52K is more than most four-year degree requiring jobs receive, like social service workers or some hospital nurses.

Current teachers do not have to worry about another disrespectful comment from students. The school administration will not address the student’s actions when they can just up and leave for a job at Panda Express. It makes sense; why try to deal with unruly children when you could receive a raise. As an assistant manager at Panda Express, you could get $21 per hour plus benefits. That adds up to around $43,680 a year. Imagine how much you would earn after working your way up the chain to get to the manager position.  43K is 10K more than the entry-level position for a k12 teacher. 43k is still more than some public colleges pay tenured professors. The pay at a fast-food job gives teachers a whole new option to tell the school off and still make more money than before.  Not to mention that this would provide a raise for professors that spent 60 grand on graduate school. So why would you work at a menial job that goes nowhere where you are unappreciated and disrespected? The real question is, do you think this is the fast-food job or the teacher?

While we might be in a labor shortage for fast-food workers and other jobs that pay minimum wage, in the future, it could flip. We would have a labor shortage in degree-requiring positions. Especially jobs that offer less than the average fast-food chain pays.