On March 17, 2014 the Wall Street Journal published an article with the headline, “Using Salary Prospects to Choose a College Major“. In it, they covered two topics that we talk about often with our clients: What information should they use when choosing a career (and therefore a major), and When should they start doing this. The writer interviewed several consultants to ask them how much students should use the potential future salary earnings projections when choosing their career path.
One comment from Ms. Schneider in the article caught my attention when she said, “…any useful college advice to students has to start with their own interests, inclinations and sense of possible career paths. But the reality is that, at too many post-secondary institutions, students are allowed to leave all planning for the future until they get around to it on their own—which is usually much too late.”
I found it interesting because she points out the problems of waiting until the student gets around to this planning phase, and because she led with the typical default approach of focusing first on their interests. And she did NOT mention (and neither did any of the other consultants quoted in the article) that most colleges suggest or recommend that students use assessments instruments that are not reliable, and many of those instruments were not created or intended for use in job or career matching.
Bottom line, if leave it up to the colleges, or let your kids do what everybody else is doing, they will likely experience the same (poor) results most college students are experiencing these days – many of which we cover in our Ultimate Student Success Process video.