Recently, I came across a New York Times article which revealed that kids graduate from college and often remark “I don’t know what I want to do…for my first job…or career”. Even though parents spend massive amounts of time, energy and money putting them on the right path. Over the past few decades, the U.S. population has gone through numerous employment changes as each generation (Baby Boomers, Gen X, etc.) has hit their career-peak. It is clear that unlike the Baby Boomers, the Millennials and Generation Z have a larger selection of unique opportunities available. However, in this competitive market, the younger generations have harder decisions to make. In the past, you could earn a living, and work your way up the ranks, no matter what the job. Today, graduates have a lot of pressure to immediately decide their career path. The most pressing questions are “What will be the greatest career opportunities for the next crop of students? What will be the best jobs for the college classes of 2030?” With that in mind, we must look at the education system as it stands today. “How To Pick A Career?”
For Generation Z, what fields are growing and what new fields may emerge when it’s their time for college? How can we have our entire education system match those needs? Is there a way to close the gap — as far as ensuring today’s faculty can completely prepare the next generation?
When colleges and universities take a more purposeful approach to matching skill sets and desires for their students before they begin their careers, the students are likely to find a position that “truly” fits their interests.
For many young people, their interface with career counseling in school is sometimes limited. However, at Connecticut College, for example, their placement process starts early. They match careers with specific subjects, allowing more than 90% of the students to be placed in a career option that furthers their long-term desires.
Innovative Approach: University Level
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, David and Goliath, there’s a chapter that asks the question: “Are you better being the small fish in the big pond or the big fish in the small pond?”
For example, if you attended Brown University and got a lesser grade than you’re used to receiving, would you drop the subject and say “I’m scrapping my original idea?” What if you attended a branch of the University of Maryland or John Hopkins – still very competitive schools – and were at the top of the class (big fish in a small pond)?
You would probably do just as well as those receiving similar grades to what you would have had if you’d continued attending Brown. The difference is you would probably feel better about yourself and your choices.
If we could look in to the future, what are the greatest opportunities for the next group on deck? What is the “hot” discipline to learn? What careers promise the most growth? Will I need an advanced degree to qualify? If you have a small entrepreneurial venture in the startup stage, and you need to rapidly gather resources to be successful, how do you find motivated young folks to add to your support team? Contact me and we’ll look for these team members together!