A university education is one of the greatest gifts parents can give to their children. It’s often associated with financial security. But the look and feel of financial security are changing. Where employers hired graduates because they’d been trained to think about and assimilate knowledge, now those same employers want degrees with specialized knowledge “pre-installed” so that they can be put to work right out of the box.
Personal Due Diligence (PDD) equips its clients to navigate the future that Finance Minister Bill Morneau described on Oct. 22, 2016, a future that’s already here. We show them how to test drive the viability of their assumption(s) before they make financial commitments of any kind to post-secondary education for their children.
Morneau said, “High employee turnover and short-term contract work will continue in young people’s lives. We also need to think about, ‘How do we train and retrain people as they move from job to job to job?’ Because it’s going to happen. We have to accept that. He noted that some people will see their jobs disappear in the years to come — truck drivers and receptionists, for instance. He listed the changes to the Canada Pension Plan as an example, calling it ‘a recognition that people aren’t going to have the same pension benefits’ as in generations past.”
University graduates aren’t exempt. Over 52% of all of today’s jobs are precarious and will be for the foreseeable future. My parents would have asked, “This is what we’re sending our kids to university for? To work part-time for the rest of their life? Where are the 48% of jobs that aren’t precarious?”
PDD launched in 2012 when reports began to circulate about 100,000 – 300,000 university graduates who were working as unpaid interns. At $32,000 per bachelor’s degree (tuition, fees and expenses), those graduates paid out between $3.2 billion and $9.6 billion from RESPs, savings, or loans and had nothing to show for it. That wasn’t the outcome their families had in mind.
Starting 2 years prior to high school graduation, we teach parents and their children how to build business cases and use the market intelligence they gather to evaluate the risk of not securing full-time employment after graduation. We don’t determine the extent of their risk aversion; they do. We make no attempt to influence their decisions. We are in no way connected with institutions of higher learning.
Einstein wrote, “The world we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” We need all the university graduates we can produce, provided they’re graduates in the right fields. But we’re stuck in a time warp when it comes to our attitudes about “chosen fields” and what a university degree can and can’t do. It may increase the likelihood of finding full-time work, but it can’t guarantee it.
Steve Jobs said, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” I haven’t seen evidence that we’ve been showing our children anything for the last 40 years, except that times are getting tougher. What the labour market wants isn’t some deep, dark secret. It can be ferreted out. If parents and their children choose to ignore what the market is telling them, they do so not only at their peril, but at the peril of all of us, universities and other institutions of higher learning included.
Our children are unaware of the full scope of what Canada has to offer. So are many of their parents. Nothing Morneau said convinces me that that’s going to change any time soon. It hasn’t since 1976, the year before the first of my two children was born. The same applies to the provinces. Personal Due Diligence (PDD) will make our clients aware of what Canada has to offer. That’s why I conceived it.
The results of an HSBC survey published by the Guardian Newspaper in April 2014 may pique your interest.
Our offer of a no-charge first consultation is on the table. Times are tough, people need help, and we can provide it. It’s worth noting that the kids and their parents will be learning the fundamentals of job search as a part of the process.
Please give this matter the attention you and your children deserve. We’re all in this together.
President & Founder
PERSONAL DUE DILIGENCE