One of the most important things you will do as a parent for your child is to help them in their journey to discover the right career path for them. In order to do this, it is important to keep in mind some inherent trends in our world today that have affected the need for various careers, as well as knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses when choosing a career path they will be successful in.
One of the administrators of the testing program who I worked with for many years in the public school system often said to parents in testing conferences: “A standardized test is not a predictor for life,” and this statement is very true. A test is just that-a test. But it gives one piece of the puzzle that must be considered when planning things such as what courses to take in high school and ultimately what major to focus on in college.
Before You Choose a Major - What to Consider
For this reason, it is important to remember these factors as well:
The Changing Economy
Although there are indicators we are starting to climb out of a recession, for many it is still very real. In times of economic turmoil, careers in the fine arts and humanities report having higher unemployment. Architectural degrees are on the decline in the light of the recent housing and real estate plunge, though this is starting to recoup gradually. People just breaking into these fields are more likely to struggle to find jobs, while those already working in them may be paid very well in most cases.
While one cannot base what they decide to do for a life career on the economy alone, it pays to keep your finger on the pulse of the economy in order to find the most practical career options given the state of the economy.
The Changing Technology
The only constant in technology is change. In an increasingly technological world, whatever your child decides to focus on for their major will change and evolve over time. Remaining flexible to change and being open to learning new things at every stage of one’s career is going to prove to be the most important aspect of career choices in the near future.
The Need for Speed
Everything has gotten faster in today’s world. The modern worker must be able to get things done in a moment’s notice but with high skill and ability. For this and other reasons, it is even more important that people choose careers which they will enjoy and excel in, so that they will be successful in their chosen career path.
The Importance of Specialization
A broad-based liberal arts degree will always be popular, but more and more students are choosing to specialize in a technical subject. This is with good reason as the most highly paying and in-demand careers demand specialization. Some of these areas include software design, mechanics, and engineering. The more you can prepare a young person for this world of specialization and narrow down what they are good at, the better it will be for them.
Use your own knowledge of your child, plus insight from their aptitude tests to determine their strengths and interests. These are the areas you should focus on when helping them choose a career. There is a book written many years ago called, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow. The principles outlined in this book still apply today.
Work with your child, your child’s school counselor and teachers, and do your homework. After all, it’s your child’s life career we’re talking about. Is there anything more important than that?
- The Explore Student Test
- Majors Matcher | College Factual Major Assessment
- Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path
This post is part of the series: Helping Your Child Find the Best College Fit
High school students are often overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right college. Learn the best ways to help your child discover a major and a college that will set them up for a successful career.