The college to career investment decision

By College Advice

About 10 years ago, Kevin, a friend from Old Lyme called, about his son Luke.  Could you give him one of those career tests?  “Isn’t Luke entering 9th grade?” I asked incredulously.

Kevin explained that Pfizer was making noises about leaving Connecticut.  Kevin and his family would have to make a choice if that happened: he could find another pharmaceutical company and move or he could stay in Connecticut – which he and his family loved – and potentially work in his father-in-law’s insurance agency.  If he did the latter, he would face a cut in pay that would likely preclude Luke attending a high priced private college.

Kevin went on to explain that he thought attending such colleges made plenty of sense when the student was seeking a “big time career” (Kevin’s words, not mine) but if his son wanted to become a history teacher or something not requiring a highly credentialed pedigree, then sending him to the University of Connecticut would make more sense.

The timing of the conversation was somewhere in the 2005-6 range, or at least distinctly before the Great Recession, so that may have been why I was surprised by Kevin’s far-sightedness regarding the college decision.

After the Recession, my career counseling practice grew at a brisk pace and, quite often, career counseling became part of college counseling due to many of the issues that Kevin cited way back when.

Daryl Capuano

CEO, The Learning Consultants and Connecticut’s top private education consultant
full bio