The research shows that 75% of recent college grads were lackadaisical at best (totally random at worst) at choosing their major. Many fall into whatever major seems “like a good idea at the time,” not realizing that this decision is setting a trajectory for the next decade of their life. High school students are diving head first into college without a long-term career vision. College choice is all the rage, but career choice matters more in the long run. Without their hands on the steering wheel, life “happens” and young professionals are waking up in their 30s wondering why they hate being an accountant, or whatever, fill the _____ to name the trendy career that happened to be hot when you were in college.
In the video Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, talks about how to make the most of a college education. Given the high price tag, you’ve got to be much smarter about career choices today. If you don’t know why you’re studying a field and how you plan to use the knowledge, you’re simply not ready for college yet. Tuition is too expensive and the course work too rigorous to go in thinking you’ll have time to experiment and “figure things out later.” It’s imperative to have a well-thought-out career path in mind before you go to college. What ballpark of careers you are naturally cut out for? If you can’t answer this question, you’re not ready for the big leagues.
It’s clear that college students are essentially gambling with their tuition money with the hope that things will eventually work out. This is a very risky bet, especially when you consider the workplace employee engagement Gallup data that shows that the majority of mid-career adults never got around to discovering their real careers either. Deferring your career choice to your “future self” rarely pans out—just ask your parents.