The Economics of Adolescence

By Miro Ehrfeld

Year after year the number of unemployed college graduates accumulates. Despite extensive reemployment programs, many younger people are forced into jobs instead of careers. According to the Huffington Post, 57% (or more than 2 million) of college graduates are unemployed. Thus, many people have resorted to reexamining the benefits of higher education. Unemployment in itself is harmful to the economy, but unemployment of the younger, educated generation is critical. How can a nation excel without the presence and involvement of the best and brightest minds?  

One solution to the job deficit is entrepreneurship. Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup, reminds us that "Brilliant college kids sitting in a dorm are inventing the future" (Reis 21). Without the option of a career path, many students put their valuable education and creativity to use by starting their own company. Not only does this nurture leadership, it fosters innovation; without the conventional structure of hierarchy, they feel entitled to exploit their imagination. In addition to instilling character and confidence, being an entrepreneur provides crucial exposure to fiscal, real world economics.  

Starting a company from scratch is a trying task; age discrimination, legal procedures, time management, and capital allocation are just a few of the hardships of the process. Even if the company is destined to fail, the experiences gained are incomparable. But if a startup is successful, it paves the way for endless possibilities. With the presence of a new company, jobs will be provided, money reinvested in the economy and a new, or refined, product made available. If nothing else, "being your own boss is awesome" (Lord).


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