Millennials Entering Adulthood
The article under analysis is titled “Educated, Unemployed, and Frustrated” written by Mathew C. Klein. In this article, Klein insists that the youth are continuously getting frustrated due to lack of employment opportunities. The problem of unemployment has had its adverse effects on people particularly the young who strive to gain the necessary education to fit in employment positions. The youth have been taught that all it takes to succeed is hard work and prerequisite education (Klein 1). This has not been upheld in the current society where millions of youth all over the world are educated but cannot access meaningful employment opportunities.
Klein insists that the issue of unemployment has always been a problem in developing countries. But the situation is changing in that first world countries like America now have to deal with youth unemployment and find a lasting solution for it. In fact, it is considered a misfortune to complete school since no company will hire fresh graduates. Before companies hire them, they subject them to free labor and volunteer activities. The youth are patient and can volunteer in an effort to gain the necessary experience required for employment. But then this companies are never true to their word and often do not employ the youth even after volunteering. To survive the youth are forced to take menial jobs that they never studied for. This is because they have to fend for themselves and cater for the hefty bills that are incurred while living in thefirst world countries. The youth are scrambling for limited resources in order to survive and often most of them are forced to stay with their parents since they cannot afford to fend for themselves. Such a situation frustrates youths since they are deemed lesser beings who cannot afford to cater for themselves. Klein speculates that if the status quo is maintained then there are higher chances of there being a revolution in wealthy countries (Klein 1).
The author constructs a systematic argument that outlines why he comes to his conclusions while raising awareness on the plight of the youth about unemployment. He first starts by identifying the revolution taking place in Arab countries due to youth unemployment. He condescends that people might be speculating on the next Arab country that is going to revolt not considering the immediate challenges that the youth have in their country. He then singles in on one country that is Egypt where 25% of workers who are unemployed are youthsbelow the age of 25. The percentage in Egypt is so close to that of America which was reported by the Bureau of Labour Statistics to be at 21 percent for workers aged between 16 and 24. He uses this statistical base to claim that a revolt can break out if the unemployment trend continues.
Klein narrows down to a particular example of a friend from high school who studied international relations and Chinese at a prestigious college. The friend had the misfortune of graduating in 2009 and from then has not been able to get any meaningful employment opportunities. The friend had to contend with being a lifeguard and a personal trainer in order to fend for himself. In addition, his initiative to undertake unpaid internships at research institutions bore no fruits, and he was forced to move back to his father’shousehold. Such a story is shared by millions of college graduates in rich nations. For instance, in Portugal, Spain and Italy, a quarter of college graduates who are under 25 are unemployed. The number can even be higher because it does not account for those who went to graduate schools or those who take up part-time employment opportunities for lack of a better alternative (Klein 1). Many youths in developed countries are jobless and, therefore, unable to engage in meaningful self-development.
When the youth do not get employed, they become frustrated due to financial pressure and emotional distress. Klein demonstrates this aspect by emphasizing the ideology that the youth have towards fulfilling careers. A job is a rewarding venture that most students look forward to when studying. In fact, they see it as a reward for many hours spent on homework and SAT prep instead of some other activities, which are more enjoyable. When the youth do not get jobs, they do not have any aspirations about what their future might hold. The frustration of the youth is likely to increase with augmented economic desperation. Klein notes with concern that such nationwide protests took place in Portugal, and it is only a staple oftime before this takes its toll on the rest of the rich world.
The article does hold up mainly because it covers a topic that is of concern to most youths who are looking forward to finishing school. Klein advances this topic in a structural way by issuing supporting statistical data and observing the effects of the problem in other countries. This is the main strength of the article. In addition, he offers credible examples of friends who have cleared school, but have not gotten the opportunity to access sufficient employment opportunities. Klein’s coherent explanations and logical conclusions do guide the reader through the thinking analogy of the youth and how frustrated they are becoming due to lack of sufficient opportunities. The article is a good read, but it generalizes to many aspects and does not propose any meaningful solutions to the problem being faced. Klein should have suggested some solutions to the issue of youth unemployment and provided avenues of avoiding any protests that can arise. The article can easily be confused to be an appeal for the youth to rise and protest against unemployment. This is the main weakness of a report that should be creating awareness about a problem and proposing solutions to it.
Many counterarguments can be developed on the claims Klein has. The purpose of education is not necessarily to lead to employment. Most education experts deem this approach as retrogressive in that students only focus on the jobs they can get after education (Livingstone 322). Education should be channeled towards strengthening the human mind so that one can learn how to deal with particular challenges that they face throughout their lifetime (Guo 1). The main problem currently facing the youth is unemployment. If only the youth could think through this problem and develop alternative mechanisms to earn a living then they would have a set up economic platforms that can sustain them (Livingstone 322). Entrepreneurship is the key to solving the challenge of unemployment. In addition, the argument that there simply can be a revolution of that kind in the rich world is unfounded and generalized. The issue of youth unemployment is being addressed by most governments. A possible solution would be reducing the retirement age that is debatable.
Mathew Klein put forward a strong argument that criticizes the government on the issue of youth unemployment. Young persons are not able to access suitable employment positions after finishing school. The financial stress involved with this frustrates them so much, and they could protest if at all this continues. The government is called upon to take action and find a way of reassuring this generation.
Guo, Philip. “The Main Purpose of Education.” October 2010. Pgbovine.net Website. Document. 13 February 2015.
Klein, Mathew C. “Educated, Unemployed and Frustrated.” The New York Times (2011): A25. Document.
Livingstone, D. W. Education & Jobs: Exploring the Gaps. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.