College might still be the path to success but it is not the only path to success. Today’s young adult faces unique challenges when deciding what to do after high school. Many students in high school find themselves pressured to apply to colleges even when they have no earthly idea what they want to do with their lives.
A person who is eighteen is not usually mature enough to make a decision as important as this. Most students who go directly to college from high school have poor performance in their studies because they discover that their chosen major is nothing like they thought it was going to be when they signed up for the classes. There is no way a high school senior can be prepared for the classes that are required for a degree and these classes are usually the first they have to face in college.
Why would a boy who wants to be an architect expect to have to pass a music appreciation course? Most students change their major several times prior to the final two years of study. Even then, the average student changes his or her mind many times before finally making the big step into a career.
Today, a high school senior has been in school continuously for twelve years. He or she might know what he/she wants to “be when he/she grows up” but until a person has experience in the chosen field it is doubtful that there will be a final decision.
Perhaps it would be better to follow the path taken in days gone by when a young student was apprenticed to a master in a chosen field. Hypothetically, if a high school senior spent the summer and fall after high school working in what he/she believes to be his/her chosen field, the decision of which direction to proceed might be a little more well thought out.
Today students are offered internships in fields that interest them. They work in the field or job for little or no pay in order to get the experience to help make an informed decision. Sometimes the internship assists in getting a scholarship for study in a specific field.
Finding a mentor in a specific field of choice can help a student to decide whether to take the step to college or continue to a trade school. Someone who has already taken a specified path and then worked in the field will be better qualified to assist a student in his/her choices.
For some people the prestige of having a college degree is the most important step that can be taken after high school. In prior years it became nearly impossible to get a well paying job position without that piece of parchment.
Today a college education is often considered superfluous. A person applying for some types of jobs may come away without getting it and being told they are “over qualified” for the position in question. Where once a student had to attend a specialty college in order to learn a specific profession, today’s student can attend hands-on training courses in community colleges or trade schools.
Today’s student can take licensing courses in well paying professions at night school in community colleges allowing him/her to work and save money during the day and better him/her self through schooling at night. Whatever goal is sought, there are many different routes to attaining it.