By Amaka Watson | Defender Network | Word In Black

This post was originally published on Defender Network

jar of change
Photograph courtesy of Towfiqu Barbhuiya/Unsplash.

(WIB) – These days, schools teach to standardized tests instead of teaching critical life skills to prepare students for the real world. Surprisingly enough, there are 21 states in the US that require students to take a personal finance class before graduating.

Financial literacy has an umbrella of topics that will help prepare teenagers to make those major life decisions like how to use a credit card or whether or not to take on student loan debt.

Here are our top 5 choices of courses that should be taught in schools.


Every working adult is going to have to file taxes, and many young adults are interested in the world of entrepreneurship. After high school graduation, many of them will have to find work, and it is important to dissect a paycheck and where the tax dollars go. Learning basic concepts of tax preparation gets them ready for tax season.


There is so much more to money than making it and saving it. Saving is a very important strategy to building an emergency cushion, but it’s not enough to deal with inflation. The concept of compound interest is not taught enough. You need your money to work for you and not the other way around. Vehicles that provide compound interest will have your money working for you.

Personal Finance

It lays the foundation for young people to start building smart money habits early on to avoid costly mistakes in the future. Many high school graduates will start to make financial decisions that will impact their lives long-term, whether it be going to college, living out on their own or buying a car. These are all decision that will impact their budgets and credit.

Networking and Employment

Have you heard the phrase “A close mouth doesn’t get fed?” Basically that is the shortest way to define networking. It teaches you how to properly communicate and interact with others. Social media, in some cases, has diminished how many people value in-person communication skills. However, even with “them internets,” face-to-face communication skills are just as important today, and can serve as the thing that makes a person stand-out from the crowd. So, learning how to network and move around different spaces–IN PERSON–will be an invaluable asset for you.

Home Economics

Home economics teaches people fundamental life skills, especially those related to running a home efficiently. Young people can also be taught how to manage a checking account, basic finance and sewing. Moreover, home economics builds discipline and independence.

What courses do you believe should be taught in schools? Send your responses to