The Lost Boys… Young Men Who Have Not Launched

A recent Wall St. Journal article focused on boys… really young men… who have given up college:

At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline.

This education gap, which holds at both two- and four-year colleges, has been slowly widening for 40 years. The divergence increases at graduation: After six years of college, 65% of women in the U.S. who started a four-year university in 2012 received diplomas by 2018 compared with 59% of men during the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The whole article provides stunning facts about male underachievement.

My larger company – The Learning Consultants – focuses on helping high school companies. My first book Motivate Your Son focused on the motivational challenge that I saw facing teen boys.  When I created our Student Mastery Program, I did not have a gender focus in mind.  I hoped to train students to become great students.  I soon noticed that many of our female students had what I’ll call technical issues – perhaps not studying effectively or not knowing the material – but that many of our male students, in addition to having the same challenges as their female counterparts, also had motivational issues.

While I was concerned about what I saw in the present for those struggling in high school, my real concern was what would happen in the future to these teen boys who clearly were not ready – emotionally – for college. I started noticing what I called “Lost Boys” 18-24 year olds who did not get through college and were now bouncing from part time jobs to low level jobs that did not have a future. To be clear, this is not intellectual snobbery related to the credential of a college degree, just the market reality that outside the trades and the military, there are not many distinct career paths for those who did not have a credential or a distinct skill.

I have been working with young men across the country – largely because my book seems to have struck a chord with parents far outside Connecticut – and I know that there is nothing enjoyable about being a non-college graduate in one’s twenties (male or female).

Career Counseling Connecticut can help.