Gallup conducted a survey in 2017 and among those surveyed, 51% of the adult respondents said that they would like to change an aspect of their higher education. 51 %!! While the number seems high as it is, whenever I have had the opportunity to interact with the students at the college level or in their first jobs, I feel the percentage is much higher…
More than 32,500 students from 43 randomly selected colleges, both public and private, responded to the survey last year. About 34 percent of those students indicated they were confident that they would graduate with the know-how to succeed in the job market, and 36 percent said they believed they had the skills and knowledge to be successful in their careers.
” Students are not nearly as prepared as they could or should be, and they actually know it while they’re in college,” said Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup’s higher education division.
I wonder what changes in a college setup that the students suddenly realize that the career path that they set out upon was perhaps not the ideal one. Hmm.. could it be that they actually learn more about the career path that they set out to study? It seems like a deceptively simple statement. Is college the first point of exposure for the student about the career that he had chosen? How did he choose the career in the first place?
Things have changed a lot since I left school. Careers were something that you heard about from your uncles and friends. There were certain careers with a “Halo” around it- you know the preferred ones that everyone ended up doing. Only once we hit college, did we actually realize that this was not our chosen career path and our interests were different.
Nowadays almost every school worth its salt conducts a lot of activities around career counseling, career fairs, and the whole rigmarole. Things have changed.. or have they? The survey results cited above clearly indicate that perhaps we have moved far beyond the starting line just to have strayed back to it.
Instead of just informing students about colleges, can we expose them to careers at an early age? And can this introduction happen in an organic fashion? Can the conversation about careers be linked with the subjects that the students study?
After all isn’t civics the basis of Law and don’t the different civilization styles in History give a preview to different architectural styles. It is important for students to understand their natural skill sets to understand the careers best suited for them. Career options should not be dictated, they should be chosen by the student based
on his or her aptitude. And this choice should not be made in college or in your first job, it’s a realization that the student should come to on his own… much before college. The subjects that are selected in the senior school should not be based on the marks obtained, but based on the natural skills and inclination of the student and completely related to the career that he wants to pursue. Just like “Halo” careers should not exist, “halo” subject streams should neither.
A world where the students understand their strengths and skills, choose their
career streams accordingly will not only lead to happy students but will also transform the society. Why should I take a roundabout trip to my dream job, why should I change multiple courses or careers before I finally understand my skill set? It is said that the journey is as important as the destination. But land me in my dream career and I’ll take the vacation and do the journey!