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How common is this?

How common is this?

There seems to be a general push in our society for kids to go to college right out of high school, or sometimes a year later. And then I hear all these stories from parents whose kids completed a degree but then decided they didn't really want to do that or they couldn't find a job in their field, so now the kid is a manager at a restaurant or something, or the kid is going back to school for something else... etc. There seems to be a LOT of direction changing going on.

It just makes me wonder: is it a mistake to expect kids to know what they want and go to college when they are 18? Or is this just to be expected?

Moms of grads, have you seen a lot of this? Do you think it's a problem, or is it just one of those things where kids are figuring life out?

Just wondering what others' thoughts are.

re: How common is this?

We are right in the middle of this fear.

DD17 has always said she wants to go to medical school like her brother did. She set up all of her freshman college classes to that end.

Then, she was speaking with some people at Microsoft who said she really needed to get a marketing degree. She changed all of her science classes to pre-requisites right before she started.

It took her about two weeks to decide she wanted to go the science route again. But, now she is already a semester behind. She called me recently and said she is unsure what she wants to do. There are too many options for her. I encouraged her to leave her major in the sciences until she makes up her mind FOR SURE.

Considering college is roughly $30,000 a year, minus scholarships, I am preparing myself for a later and later retirement. Ugh.

re: How common is this?

In talking with a lot of different people over the years, I have noticed this for quite a long time.

I feel bad seeing all that money and time being spent before the student is even relatively sure what s/he wants to do with their life.

re: How common is this?

I think changing career paths is very common. My dh is in a job that simply didn't even exist 10 years ago due to changes in technology. I also think that many college graduates are in jobs that don't require a degree.

My oldest is now entering college and starting to explore careers, so we are trying to advise, but at the same time, let her pursue her own dreams, goals. It's a very fine line and hard to discern. We are advising all our children to start with an associate's degree at the local community college. It's affordable and a shorter term goal.

The bottom line is that learning is a lifelong journey and even those who have advanced degrees, still need to continue to develop skills in their field.

You might check out this relevant video.
https://www.mruniversity.com/courses/principles-economics-macroeconomics/economics-career-finding-right-jobs-labor-markets

This post was edited on Nov 18, 2017 06:49 AM

re: How common is this?

Yes I think it is sad and a waste of money but perhaps not a waste of time when you consider the benefit of one well-rounded, well-educated person to society.

I think there are lots of good entry level jobs out there looking for energetic, young people to fill them. So I am sort of thinking encouraging my kids to get a job for a decent company with good prospects for the future. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement if employees work a certain amount of hours or after 1 year employment. Lots of jobs specialize, and call for on-the-job training which adds value to the employee themselves as time goes on and results in a bargaining chip later on to get the time off needed or the schedule needed for school as well. So then you'd be looking at night school, or part-time college, nothing wrong with that, all of us can think of someone who does it.

I think the days of "if you don't go to college right after high school, you never will" are finally over.

re: How common is this?

What I meant by waste of time is a delayed start to a career and income from it. To restart a major half way in puts a person well into their 20s before they are finished with school.

re: How common is this?

I think there's a huge push to go to college right out of high school, whether you should or not. It's frustrating, especially if they have no clue which direction to pursue. Add the debt load, and it's just tough to swallow.

I think it should still be based on the student and their interests or direction (or lack thereof). There is nothing wrong with a technical schools either.

Don't get me wrong. I know and agree that furthering your education is good, not just for the workforce. I just believe that there other ways to go about it.

K

re: How common is this?

So then, unless our kids have a clear goal in life, should we just back off and not make them choose a potential college path when they are in 11th or 12th grades? This is what I wonder.

My son is in 10th. The only things he's told me so far is that he wants to take a welding course and get his Class 1 license so he can drive truck. I think both of those are worthy goals, and also pretty inexpensive (so no debt), but it's hard for me not to push a little and help him think up "bigger" things he could do. I haven't said much about it yet, and maybe I shouldn't.

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