The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

May 26, 2013

One way or another, graduates need to continue their educations

High school graduation season has come.

Our best wishes are with every graduate and their families as they embark on their futures.

It’s a great achievement to receive a high school diploma, one that nearly a quarter of those who start high school don’t see to completion in our state, sadly.

So, congratulations to the graduates, their families, teachers and the caring school staff who helped along the way.

But an even worse statistic for education in West Virginia is the one that tracks those who continue on to college. Only about 60 percent of West Virginia high school graduates pursue higher education — at either the community college or university level.

With several excellent institutions in our region, opportunities to prepare yourself in many fields of study are readily available.

The job market is tough. Perhaps as tough as it’s been for a long while.

Getting a job is very competitive and getting more so.

More and more careers require more training or education.

Average wages earned rise significantly when armed with a college degree as well. Even one- and two-year degrees make a job prospect more valuable. These positions, which tend to be more in the technical or medical fields, are usually positions of great need and tend to be in high demand.

We encourage the high school graduates in our region to strongly consider enabling themselves even further by seeking out their options in higher education.

A stronger, better educated and more productive workforce can only mean good things for our people, our region and our state.

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