Findings highlight role of family and friends in student decision-making; regular guidance from educators positively impacts graduate confidence; and the identification of personal aptitudes has potential to generate greater student engagement and focus

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, November 28, 2022YouScience, the leading college and career readiness company, today released the findings of its new national student survey, Post-Graduation Readiness Report, which indicates that most high school graduates (75%) do not feel prepared to make college or career decisions after graduation. The national online survey polled more than 500 students from the 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 high school graduation classes. There is a tremendous opportunity for high schools to impact students’ college and career readiness, and most of the respondents (62%) felt that it is one of schools’ responsibilities. Despite that, 41% felt unprepared to make a career choice or declare a college major upon graduation, and 30% were not following any planned educational or career path. For 57% of the graduates, family and friends had the greatest impact on their college and career decision-making. At a time when many industry leaders report that their top challenge is the limited supply of talent and nearly six million people in the U.S. are unemployed, the survey highlights the opportunity to better inform and engage our future talent pool. Representing our most recent graduates of the past four years, the survey found 42% of the respondents lacking confidence or only slightly confident in their chosen career or education, while another 33% felt only moderately confident. The survey also revealed that more than one-third (37%) of the graduates — regardless of their current education or career — are still not sure they are where they want to be. “Education leaders and industry must come together to help our students better understand themselves and their opportunities beyond high school,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience. “Career guidance and exposure are a critical part of student development. We need to provide this support as early as eighth grade, beginning with helping students understand their natural aptitudes and talents, and how that translates to career fit. In addition, we need to showcase career opportunities beyond the obvious. If students rely on family and friends for direction, they can be limited in their dreams and fail to fulfill their potential. In large part, our talent gap is also a career exposure gap.” Additional findings of the survey include: There are varying degrees of post-secondary education and career preparation in today’s high schools 
  • Of the 42% of graduates that felt unconfident or slightly confident upon graduation about pursuing their chosen post-high school educational or career pathway:
    • 72% reported that they were rarely or only sometimes exposed to a variety of career options that could be pursued
    • 64% had 5 or fewer conversations with teachers or counselors about the various post-high school opportunities available
  • Of the 24% of graduates that felt very or extremely confident in their chosen career or educational pathway upon graduation:
    • 81% reported that they were often or sometimes exposed to a variety of career options that could be pursued
    • 47% had anywhere from 5-20 conversations with teachers or counselors about the various post-high school opportunities available
Aptitude assessments are still not widely available, but students feel they would be helpful to engage them in their learning 
  • Only 16% of graduates reported taking an aptitude assessment to help prepare them for “what’s next”
  • Nearly 80% of graduates felt they would have been more engaged in their learning if they better understood their own aptitudes and potential career opportunities
An executive summary of the Post-Graduation Readiness Report can be found at youscience.com. Part two of the report with additional findings from will be released in the coming months. About YouScience YouScience is the only provider of an integrated college and career readiness platform that delivers highly accurate aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications, empowering individuals in their educational and career pathways. Leveraging proven research and industry input, YouScience helps individuals identify their natural talents, validate their skills and knowledge, and get matched with real-world educational and career pathways in high-demand occupations. YouScience is the preferred choice of individuals, parents, educators, and counselors to guide and support educational and career pathways, currently serving more than 7,000 educational institutions and nearly one million users. For more information, visit www.youscience.com