Too many high school students listen respectfully to teachers when considering the kind of college courses to pursue, and the right school to choose for enrollment. It isn’t that secondary school teachers and advisers intentionally mislead students.
To put it as kindly as possible, it’s often that professional academics intellectually and emotionally live within their comfortable, protected walls of tenured academe, and can lose touch with the real world. Sometimes, instead of advising students, they seek to create images of themselves and their own attitudes about higher education.
They can be all wrapped up in cloistered ideas of the pure academics, such as literature, political science and history. They often feel emotionally compelled to advise promising students to major in those academics in college, rather than choose practical career-related courses.
Within their idealized minds, they fail to realize or ignore a critical fact. At least nine out of ten college students need just one thing on the day after graduation: a job. This has always been true, but in today’s uncertain economy, it is more than true. It is life-saving.
So, how does a high school student know the right school to choose? The first consideration is what field the student intends to pursue in college and beyond. Will it be engineering, computer science, communications, entertainment, the military, medicine, law or other profession?
Of course, the student’s burning desire may be to emulate high school advisers and become a teacher or college professor. In that case, it certainly deserves equal consideration, along with other professions. As for advice, along with listening to that of teachers and advisors, students should discuss their ideas with family, especially those employed in fields of interest to the student.
Generally, there are schools that have top reputations for excelling in preparing students for certain fields. For instance, Boston University has one of the best TV and media departments. Yale Medical School is considered one of the best in the U.S.
If the choice is for career military, applications to West Point, Annapolis, Coast Guard Academy or the Air Force Academy may be the best. For a student who may want to go on to a government or political career, a Stanford or Harvard diploma is always a plus.
For serious study of music, New York’s Julliard may be the one. For considering various careers in engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is an excellent choice.
Of course, college choice need not be entirely for the school’s academic studies reputation. For instance, the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University has an excellent reputation, and it overlooks the beaches of Malibu, California. What could be more educationally uplifting than seeking a business career while catching a wave now and then?