Career Exploration Begins Before College
The cost of a college education is of great concern to students, parents, and society. With so much investment, value becomes critical. While some measure that value in intellectual and personal growth, both of which are certainly important, I believe most students are equally or predominantly seeking a college education for the purpose of obtaining a degree or credentials, which will qualify them for a good career.
College decisions—which college to attend, choosing a college major, and what internship experiences to pursue—should all be given careful consideration as far in advance as possible. Students who casually select colleges based on location, prestige, size of institution, or other non-academic factors, can ultimately find themselves in an institution that was not the perfect match in terms of their career future. At that point it is often too late to transfer and a degree in a field which was not the best choice will be completed. The result of this common scenario may be a life-long compromise in job satisfaction or a return to higher education to get a more suitable degree.
Situations like the above can usually be entirely avoided when students plan in advance. Selecting a college major with a related career in mind is a great first step. Upon doing that, students can then search for colleges that have strong academic departments in that major.
When I work with juniors or seniors in high school, we focus on discussing careers and identifying college majors that are most viable based on long-term interests, academic aptitudes, and the realities of the external job market.
With college students, we are working on any or all of the following: career choice, selecting a college major, pursuing internships, writing an attention-getting resume, and practicing for interviews.
Visit the career counseling page to learn more about how I work with young people on career exploration.