“Kids: Follow Your Dreams, But Be Practical To Be Employable…”

From Governor Palin:

As my family travels to Arizona for Willow’s graduation this week, allow me to be a proud mom in congratulating Willow and her classmates at Penrose Academy on this achievement and also offer advice to young people that I always give in graduation speeches about following your dreams.

In planning for her future, Willow thought long and hard about what kind of work would make her happy and provide her with a good income in today’s economy. She’s artistic and has an interest in making people feel and look their best, and as an entrepreneur with a strong work ethic she desires to be her own boss as a small business owner. With all that in mind, she decided to finish her high school requirements quite early and enroll in an academy for hair and skin, which allowed her to study abroad, visit the sets of major media productions, and work with the best of the best in the industry. She’ll be graduated this week with no debt and a great career ahead of her doing something she loves in a recession-proof industry (everyone needs their hair cut after all!).

It’s crucially important today for young people to think about the big picture when making education decisions. And the big picture is the goal of self-reliant business opportunities based on work ethic and not entitlements. One of the reasons I aggressively encouraged vocational training opportunities as governor of Alaska is because they lead to good paying jobs and happy careers. Young people should not be pressured into assuming that a college degree is the only path to employment today. It’s not. Some college degrees obviously lead to clear professions, like those in the medical and engineering fields, but that’s not the case with many of the liberal arts degrees young people today gravitate toward either because they aren’t sure what they want to do after college or because they’ve been led to believe that college life is a sort of rite of passage for any career. That might have been the case once, but the salary and career opportunities a liberal arts education alone can get you have been dramatically limited these days. It’s so sad to see young people holding expensive college diplomas that come with no practical job opportunities.

I’m not discouraging a student from getting a liberal arts degree if that is his or her dream …

Read the rest here.

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