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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sad realities for students today choosing their futures

There is so much truth in these two hard-hearted realities.
Now I'm waiting for the "So you want to be an engineer" cartoon for high school students who got an A in Calculus and figure that doing well in math up through high schools means they will make wonderful engineers and be guaranteed jobs for the rest of their lives.

Or the cartoon for "So you want to be a political science major" for the kids who enjoy following current events but have no idea what type of job they'd get with such a major.

And I bet that they're already working on "So you want to go to medical school" cartoon. There's a lot of reality there that students need to hear.

Truly, I worry about all the bright, optimistic students I see every day with great dreams about how there will be jobs for them no matter what they major in because they've always done well in high school classes and so assume that the jobs will be out there for them if they take classes in subjects that interest them like 19th century Russian novels or historical linguistics (two subjects that I enjoyed in college until I woke up and realized that there were no jobs for me in those fields.)


Locomotive Breath said...

As someone who was an engineering prof at NCSU for 14 years and who, just for fun, is still teaching a class as an adjunct, I can tell you that we'd be thrilled to get more students who understand calculus and physics as frosh. Many incoming frosh spend their first several semesters in semi-remedial classes trying to make up for the deficient educations they've received in NC's high schools.

Tristram said...

Heh...if they had "I want to be an electrician" or "I want to be a plumber", the other person would be trying to invest in their business.

I have a 5 year old and an 2 year old (both boys). I am a software engineer. I will definitely make sure both boys have experience doing trades during the summer before college so that they can make informed decisions about education.

Locomotive Breath said...

In the no-duh category. Tell your kids to study their science and math. If you wait until you're a frosh in college it's too late. Even if you learn a trade it's far better to understand WHY things are done a certain way.

Engineering, Computer-Science Pay More Than Liberal Arts

lorraine_lanning said...

Despite my best efforts, none of my children are academically inclined. My youngest son, now a high school senior, has the academic talent, but hates school. He takes AP classes so that he's not in class with the "dummies".

My eldest, 24, works in a warehouse making roofing insulation. It's a good job with good benefits and he enjoys it.

My daughter is facing her last ballet auditions in January. If her dreams don't come true, she's contemplating something like physical therapist or some kind of MRI technician.

My youngest loves Wood Tech and wants to go into some kind of trade where he works with his hands. He's also interested in the Air National Guard.

With all of the college inflation out there, it's too bad so many kids are pushed towards college when there are a lot of high-paying trade jobs out there. There are many kids for whom college is not realistic so why waste the money? At the very least, having trade skills can keep you employed when things are bad and save you money by doing your own work. My husband has done well doing painting and remodeling jobs for friends and family on the side and when I was unemployed during the dotcom days, it kept us going.

I myself have many years of college in several different majors but never graduated. I lucked into the software industry by taking a couple of classes and learning on my own. That's a lot harder to do these days.