When I was in high school and people asked what I was going to do after graduation, I learned quickly that if I said, “Oh, I am going to go to college,” they would not ask much more and generally tell me that was a good choice. Little did they know I didn’t have a clue how to implement my stated plan.
I found during my 40 years in education that I didn’t have the corner on that, “I’m going to college answer,” when asked about the future. It still helps avoid a lecture, from a well-meaning adult, on what you should be doing. In too many cases students are like I was, clueless about what it took to transition to college. Fortunately, I had some people in my life who helped me figure out how to apply and navigate the process. Bless them all, for I continued on to grad school and had a career in education that I loved.
Unfortunately, many students don’t have the support and assistance to help them figure out what they will do after high school. Very few students know what they want to be doing for their life’s work. It seems reasonable that graduating seniors have a clear path to their chosen career field.
If students had career exploration programs that provided them with the requirements to be: say an electrician, plumber, doctor, teacher, physical therapist, computer programmer, a writer, a professor, a cowboy, an entrepreneur or even a politician, then they could chose an area(s) based on information that is current and accurate.
If you have students in your home it is never too early to start the discussion on what they would love to do for a living as adults. The labor market is changing rapidly as are the demands of employers. Informed students will know if they need college, tech schooling, on the job experience or the skills to start their own business. Make career planning a priority for all students!