SAN ANGELO, Texas – It’s summertime but you might not find as many teens working at summer jobs, like they did before.
According to a Pew Research Center study, the number of adolescents working summer jobs has been declining. A large factor this study found, is that teens are choosing to prepare for college rather than work.
“I feel like the whole purpose of school is to learn how to do a job. If you don’t have any training at doing a job, then you don’t know what you’re getting into,” stated Scott Clemmer who is the owner The Latest Scoop ice cream shop.
Back in the year 2,000, nearly half of all 16 to 19-year olds had a summer job. However, last year’s data shows that only 34% worked a during the summer.
“They just have more options. In the past, it was more like, ‘you need to get a summer job in order to get some experience.’ I feel like the resources and opportunities that are becoming available to them during the summer months, it makes them have more choice to do what they feel like, is best for them,” claimed Rebecca Cline who is the Director of Assessment and Counseling at San Angelo Independent School District.
As colleges gets more competitive, preparatory courses have gotten more extensive. The big question is, are classrooms replacing the actual workforce?
“Unless you’re going to be a professional student living off grants, then no. I have noticed that there’s been a fall-off of working and going to school,” answered Clemmer.
One thing is certain, education is evolving with the workforce in mind.
“We are having to move with the times, because we even work with the Texas Workforce Center, the Workforce Solutions and we’ve been in collaboration with them, starting at age 14,” explained Cline.
What everyone can agree on, is that your first summer job is a valuable learning experience.
“I don’t think anything can replace that first job. That is an experience that is irreplaceable,” expressed Cline.
“I think education is on-going, whether it’s in the workforce or going to school,” said Clemmer.