Having grown up in New Jersey, the bulk of my high school friends and acquaintances now have their children immersed in high schools across New Jersey. Most every week, I’m engaged in college counseling, formally and informally, with my New Jersey brethren.
“He wants to study film.” Mike, a parent of student from Princeton noted. He seemed resigned to the notion that he was about to spend several hundred thousand on a degree that would not lead to a job. “I wanted to say something but Marlene (Mike’s wife) said we should let him make his own decisions.”
I’m an idealist. But I’m really a practical idealist. I tell our college counseling clients that I do not burst bubbles but I also am not in the business of creating starving artists. Another college counseling client from Princeton was hoping I would convince his daughter not to major in English. He couldn’t see how she would be hired by anyone since she did not want to become a teacher. I get it. But my work in the college to career front is present the facts and then in the context of the facts provide advice. “Here are the challenges of majoring in English. Here are the opportunities and here’s what might make sense if you choose to major in English.”
The work world has shifted considerably in the last decade with trends that were accelerated by Covid.
“College” should now be considered “college-career” for many. This does not discount all the amazing experiential aspects of college life. Those are highly important.
But it does mean that thinking through career issues should also be part of the college counseling process.