This morning,The New York Timesreported on a trend that has pervaded our countrys job market. Labeled byeconomistsas degree inflation, or up-credentialing,companiesin a variety of industries are now requiring job candidates to have a bachelors degree in order to even be consideredhirable. And its not just for management positions; entry-level jobs across a diverse array of fields which previously may have required only ahigh-school diploma or G.E.D. are raising the bar.The Timessited this indicative statistic: In 2012, 39 percent of job postings for secretaries and administrative assistants in the Atlanta metro area requested a bachelors degree, up from 28 percent in 2007. And the number will continue to grow as companies try to maintain their competitive edge, hiring the best of whats out there. This growing phenomenon explains why the unemployment rate for people with only a high-school diploma iscurrently8.1 percent, double the rate of unemployed people who have a bachelors degree under their belts. Some may wonder how filing papers or loading cargo warrants a need for the critical thinking skills taught in college.Even kids seem to think there are jobs that simply dont call for strong readingskills. Scholastics Kids and Family Reading Report recently asked children which jobs they thought required good reading skills, and while kids said teacher,scientist, and businessperson fit the bill, construction worker, secretary,andsalesperson did not. However, according to many employers, even if a recent college grad is hired for a position such as a clerk or office runner, which doesnt utilize the skills she acquired in college, the fact that she has a degree shows she is ambitious and has astrongcommitmentto learning. It also increases her chances of getting a promotion. Now, more than ever, its important to get young people thinking about the steps they can take to prepare for college and the professional experiences that follow. Scholastics Chief Academic Officer Francie Alexandar calls it making kids college, career, and citizenship ready.And reading plays a significant part in that process.As many schools implement the Common Core State Standards, kids will be challenged to raise the bar in reading reading more voluminously, more deeply, and across a wide array of genres. Helping all kids meet higher-levelreading skills can be a daunting task, but there are steps parents and teachers can take to get them there.The single most important thing is finding the time to read every day.Bringing home books, setting a good example by reading yourself, and letting kids choose the books they want to read are also ways to foster a love of reading, which will translate into school success, a path to college, and marketable skills for the professional world.