Saturday, March 12, 2011

Educated majors

    Yesterday I was able to see my cousin who was home from college for the week.  While talking to her about college, life, and just in general catching up we stumbled upon the discussion of a major.  At the university my cousin attends she will have to declare a major by her second semester sophomore year of college, a deadline that for her falls in January of next year.  In about a year she will have to in essence decide what she wants to do with her life.  She has no idea. 
        As we continued to talk about it and discuss possible options she mentioned how next year she is planning on taking a class that gives students information about different career jobs and helps them choose what they want to be.  She also mentioned how in some other countries the process of choosing your career begins in high school.  My question is why not here? 
    For many careers students apply to college right into the track for that career.  For my cousin, it is already too late to go into engineering, nursing, and teaching; and depending on the university other career options are no longer options either.  It is true that you can always go back to school, or change your major if you end up in a career you hate.  However, that requires time, money, and a lot of extra effort. 
    It seems ridiculous to me that the first time students are being exposed to career options is a semester before they are supposed to choose their career, and for many an entire year and a half after the deadline for the career option they do choose.  Other countries, and likely a few other schools in America, have already realized this dilemma and addressed it, but they shouldn’t be the only ones.  Not everyone has the money to go back t school because they entered a career path they don’t like.  However, how exactly are they supposed to know they don’t like it until they try it?  My high school has a ridiculous amount of great classes however not one of them prepares students to choose a career.  That needs to change. Schools constantly stress making educated choices.  The choice of career shouldn’t be treated any differently.