Every fall, three million U.S. high school grads begin their journey into “The Twilight Zone from College to Career”, where 80% of students are unsure about their major, 50% will change majors, and 63% will take 5+ years to graduate. After their college graduation, 50% will accept jobs that do not require their degree, nearly 50% will boomerang back home to ‘recover’, and 70% will average $35,000 in college-related debt.
Despite those challenges, 98% of these new college students lack a documented career plan. Wrongly assuming that a college education is the silver bullet for career success, the primary focus is on funding college and getting in “the right school”. However, both students and parents are distracted from the real goal of a college education: to launch a better career.
Unknown to most parents and students is this fact: for every two college graduates, there’s only one true college-degree level job available in today’s market. Students who want to compete for those few precious jobs will need relevant work experience. Choosing a career path as early as possible can create opportunities for summer jobs and a stronger professional network, while validating students’ career choices and improving their academic performance.
How do we focus students on the world of work? Stephen Covey said it best: “begin with the end in mind”. Parents should increase the focus on what it takes to get their student out of college. Students should view college as one important step on their journey to a better career, not a destination point to earn a college degree. The university career center should be the first stop on the college tour, and universities should require freshmen to submit a career plan.
If there’s a smart place to cut college expenses, using free career quizzes is not the answer. Free career tests lack reliability, validity, and precision, and poor advice can be costly advice. When it comes to college, parents are really angel investors in a very personal start-up venture, yet they spend more money on prom, graduation rings, and luggage than they do on professional-quality career advice. Remember that true financial success is measured by what happens after graduation.
uJourney Career uses the best professional career tools on the market and our system is affordable, because smart career planning is important for students. We help students to create a meaningful career plan uniquely for them, based on their personality type, values, giftedness, work interests, and more. We help parents by minimizing the time and money spent by students in “The Twilight Zone from College to Career”. We help universities more accurately match students to majors, gaining more motivated students, more graduates, and wealthier alumni. Encourage your student to discover a personal, positive vision of their future today!
This post was provided by Jeff Cameron, President of uJourney, who was a guest on College Smart Radio “Tackling the Runaway Costs of College” on December 14th, 2013. Listen to this broadcast on YouTube here.
Photo Credit: uJourney