My next book is on the college to career transition. The thesis posits that many parents are the main career guides for their children (like it or not) and thus they need to be well versed in how the New World of Work operates.
Moreover, they need to understand the college to career connection in deeper ways than most do.
“Just go where you will be happy. The name of the college doesn’t matter.” The parents who say this to their children are almost always well-meaning and almost always incorrect. (I say “almost always” in anticipation of the exceptions.)
I think our generation of parents was so well trained to be the anti-Dead Poet’s Society parent (the overbearing pressure type) that many soft-hearted types (of which I am one) focus so much on trying to keep their kids happy in the moment that they provide terrible advice to relieve pressure for the student-child (and often the parent).
In the last seven years, I’ve built Career Counseling Connecticut. We work with hundreds of recent college graduates every year. Those that have come from colleges that are considered competitive or highly competitive have the problem of “what job/career path should I pursue among the different options I have?” No need to shed tears for the Yale grad who is not sure whether to head to a tech start-up or Wall Street or some interesting non-profit. But, they, too, “suffer” from the career challenge. Figuring out which career path to take is vexing. But it is truly a first world problem.
Those that attended second tier colleges are not having trouble choosing jobs but rather getting jobs. Just a fact. Don’t kill the messenger. Exceptions abound, of course, as those in STEM or who have exceptional interpersonal skills do fine. But parents have to stop saying nonsensical statements like the name of the college doesn’t matter. It does.