Junior Achievement of Washington - Class of 2020 Survey: Half of Graduating Seniors Change Plans for After High School Due to COVID-19
Roughly half (49%) of Class of 2020 graduating seniors say their plans for after high school have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey by Junior Achievement (JA) and the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF). Of those whose plans have changed, more than a third (36%) say they will now work, nearly as many (32%) expect to delay their start date for college, and almost a fifth (16%) changed the career path they wish to pursue. Wakefield Research surveyed 1,000 U.S. teens graduating high school in 2020 for JA and PMIEF in support of new educational initiatives by the two organizations.
"It's not surprising that the Class of 2020 has been reconsidering its plans in light of COVID-19," said Natalie Vega O’Neil, President & CEO of JA of Washington. "However, life-altering decisions are being made by these students without any clarity around what the coming weeks and months will bring. It is imperative we get as much information as possible to teens to help them navigate these uncertain times so that they can make informed decisions that positively impact their lives and secure their futures."
The need to focus on the next generation is now. According to PMEIF, the lack of financial capability is a generational issue that has progressively gotten worse over the decades, precisely because there hasn’t been enough emphasis on financial literacy education. And with the pandemic, the optimal time to teach these concepts is now.
To help meet that need, Junior Achievement and the PMI Educational Foundation have teamed together on educational initiatives to help teens better plan for the future. The first is the JA Economic Resources website to help students and adults become educated consumers of financial information, featuring resources and information from PMIEF. The second is Project Management 4 All, a new online game that introduces teens to the concepts of project management and planning. A video that showcases project management careers complements the game. The third initiative consists of a growing platform of JA of Washington digital resources including Career Speaker and Job Shadow videos, corporate workshop opportunities, and more.
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