Why ‘Reading’ should be on your resume
By Megan on February 20th, 2013
This morning, The New York Times reported on a trend that has pervaded our country’s job market. Labeled by economists as “degree inflation,” or “up-credentialing,” companies in a variety of industries are now requiring job candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in order to even be considered hirable. And it’s not just for management positions; entry-level jobs across a diverse array of fields which previously may have required only a high-school diploma or G.E.D. are raising the bar. The Times sited this indicative statistic: “In 2012, 39 percent of job postings for secretaries and administrative assistants in the Atlanta metro area requested a bachelor’s degree, up from 28 percent in 2007.” And the number will continue to grow as companies try to maintain their competitive edge, hiring the best of what’s out there.
This growing phenomenon explains why the unemployment rate for people with only a high-school diploma is currently 8.1 percent, double the rate of unemployed people who have a bachelor’s degree under their belts.
Some may wonder how filing papers or loading cargo warrants a need for the critical thinking skills taught in college. Even kids seem to think there are jobs that simply don’t call for strong reading skills. Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report recently asked children which jobs they thought required “good reading skills,” and while kids said teacher, scientist, and businessperson fit the bill, construction worker, secretary, and salesperson did not.
However, according to many employers, even if a recent college grad is hired for a position such as a clerk or office runner, which doesn’t utilize the skills she acquired in college, the fact that she has a degree shows she is ambitious and has a strong commitment to learning. It also increases her chances of getting a promotion.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to get young people thinking about the steps they can take to prepare for college and the professional experiences that follow. Scholastic’s Chief Academic Officer Francie Alexandar calls it making kids “college, career, and citizenship ready.” And reading plays a significant part in that process. As many schools’ implement the Common Core State Standards, kids will be challenged to raise the bar in reading — reading more voluminously, more deeply, and across a wide array of genres. Helping all kids meet higher-level reading skills can be a daunting task, but there are steps parents and teachers can take to get them there. The single most important thing is finding the time to read every day. Bringing home books, setting a good example by reading yourself, and letting kids choose the books they want to read are also ways to foster a love of reading, which will translate into school success, a path to college, and marketable skills for the professional world.
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