PRINCETON, NJ – Hey millennials, you might think you’re special and gifted and so do your parents, but it looks like the Princeton-based Educational Testing Service has something else to say. Even though young Americans are considered the most tech-savvy generation in history, a study conducted in 23 developed countries suggests that they lack basic skills needed for life and the job market.
“Rather than teaching some of the more practical skills that are necessary in this day and age, we’re still teaching towards standardized tests,” said Kari Dunn Saratovsky, author of “Cause for Change: The why and how of nonprofit millennial engagement.”
The test measured literacy or the ability to understand basic instructions, numeracy or the ability to reason and to apply simple numerical concepts, and problem solving in technology-rich environments. The bad news is, on average, American young adults were outperformed by most of their peers abroad. Even our best and brightest were defeated by top-scoring young people in other countries.
“We have to recognize that this is an incredibly diverse demographic,” explained Saratovsky. “They have different skills and not everybody is a Mark Zuckerberg.”
Researchers say the problem is complex and it won’t be solved by simply allocating more funds for education. Perhaps it will be up to millennials themselves to make an effort and find the answers.