Future of Work

Do I Want to Be a Telecommuter When I Grow Up? High Schoolers Ponder That Question

By Alyson Klein — April 06, 2022 2 min read
Image of an online work meeting.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

High schoolers pondering career plans ask themselves a host of questions: What kinds of work do I enjoy? How much money do I want to make? What am I good at?

Now add this one to the list: Do I want to be able to work remotely?

A survey of 11th and 12th graders in the United States and similarly aged students in the United Kingdom found that 19 percent of the 16- to 18-year-olds were taking the ability to telecommute into account in their career considerations. In fact, more than a third of the students surveyed said that if they worked remotely, they would move to a place they wanted to live because of the lifestyle or experience it offered and not plan to stick near their company’s headquarters.

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics conducted the survey of 1,000 participants in the 2022 MathWorks Modeling Challenge, an annual math contest it organizes. This year’s contest was centered on solving problems around remote work.

See Also

A childhood photo of Alyson Klein, just before the start of 6th grade.
A childhood photo of Alyson Klein, just before the start of 6th grade.
Courtesy of Alyson Klein
Classroom Technology Why Remote Learning Would Have Been Perfect for Me
Alyson Klein, January 6, 2021
4 min read

Students got a glimpse of what this future workplace might look like in March of 2020, when most schools in both countries closed to in-person classes and went virtual to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

More than half of students in the recent survey—58 percent—said they expect that their future careers will involve both in-person and remote work.

But the survey also found they have mixed feelings about the prospect of an online, or partially virtual, workplace.

Nearly 60 percent said they worry about feeling isolated, lonely, anxious, or stressed if they work primarily from home. About the same percentage thought less interaction with coworkers would make it harder to feel like they are part of a team.

A little more than a quarter worried that they would have trouble finding mentors or getting promoted if they worked mostly—or at least partly—from home. And about 1 in 5 expressed concerns about a more-competitive job market, given that employers would have fewer geographical restrictions in hiring.

On the upside, almost half of the students thought telecommuting would mean more flexible hours, which could be good for job satisfaction. Another 46 percent expected that working remotely would mean a better work-life balance, since they would spend less time commuting.

The survey also found that 40 percent liked the idea of a broader array of opportunities, since they could work in jobs headquartered outside their local area. And about the same percentage saw environmental benefits in fewer commuters.

Related Tags:

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Future of Work Students Want to Know More About Careers in Climate Change—Now
Teachers are not talking about these types of careers as much as many students would like.
2 min read
Doodles related to green jobs, climate change.
kid-a/iStock/Getty
Future of Work The Climate Is Changing. Career Education Is Not. That's a Problem
Teens are increasingly interested in learning about how climate change will impact the future of work.
6 min read
Vehicles move down Altamont Pass Road with wind turbines in the background in Livermore, Calif., Aug. 10, 2022.
Vehicles move down Altamont Pass Road with wind turbines in the background in Livermore, Calif., Aug. 10, 2022.
Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP Photo
Future of Work How to Build Girls' Interest and Confidence in STEM Learning
Too often, girls aren’t introduced to STEM career opportunities until high school, but that could be too late.
2 min read
Black girl wearing face mask and protective glasses using microscope in laboratory
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Future of Work Opinion 6 Reasons Why We Should See Students as Changemakers
The future is very delicate. In this blog, Michael Fullan lays out 6 reasons why students should be seen as the changemakers to improve it.
Michael Fullan
8 min read
Fullan
Shutterstock