Is College really the best choice?

By: Tom Johnston | Date: May 14, 2019 | Categories: SearchPath

The recent scandal involving parents paying millions of dollars to send their children to elite colleges and universities has exposed and launched the national debate about the real value of a college education.  The cost of a college education skyrocketed in recent years.  Student loan debt is a huge consideration that needs to be addressed by both the parent and the student.  Starting your professional life with a substacial debt will hinder opportunities and choices.

The focus on standard test sroces has also launched a new industry of ACT and SAT test prep, costing parents thousands of dollars to help their children get a better score so they can get into a better school.   But is it all worth it?

The real solution must start with a focus on a true career management plan.  Our children need to spend more time exploring various career options before making a college commitment.  The time to have that conversation is not a few weeks after a college graduation. 

I was recently working with a group of college seniors and less than 25% were planning on pursuing a career directly related to their selected college majors.  The number one reason given for major selection was, I had to choose one to go into my junior year. 

There is a new trend in colleges that is being called, progressive class selection that allows students to develop a customized program that will prepare them for a planned career path.

There a many career opportunity that do not require a full four-year college degree.    The number one program for Drones, an emerging industry, is a two-year program taught at a community college.

I recently met a young netkeeper that earned over $90k in his senior year in High school running a web development company.  He does not feel that spending thousands of dollars on a college degree is a good investment, so he is moving to a college town, running his business, enjoying the social side of college and taking online classes to build the skills he needs to grow his business. 

The key is to spend time, while still in high school, to explore various potential career paths.  Internships, both paid and unpaid, summer jobs and shadow days can help young pole better understand various career options and then make a good decision based on a plan.