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Why spend thousands of dollars going to college if the career I choose I end up not liking after I get out of college?


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Julietta’s Answer

Lydia,

I too had this same mindset when I was in high school deciding on college. I would look at the different prices and ask myself is it worth paying all this money for something I don't even know I would like. My parents and teachers pushed me into going and I'm glad I did because you're right, it may not be something you like at the end of the day. BUT it also may be something you do like. Either way, having a degree sets you apart from others. Nowadays, the workforce is very competitive and employers like to see applicants stand out in as many ways as possible. You are guaranteed to get a better job and better salary if you have an education to back up your resume. Before going to college, research some major and try to find out what you may like to learn about. That being said, also make sure that the job outlook in that particular field is booming.

Hope this helps!

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Kim’s Answer

Lydia,

This is why it is really important to learn everything you can about the real world of work for the career you are considering! It's not enough to just be a good match on all the interest surveys. Let me tell you why. A young man I know was the ideal candidate to be a high school math teacher. All the surveys said so. He went from undergrad straight to his master's. Two months after starting his first teaching job, he came to see me, because he wanted out. Why? Because the students did not want to learn!


The problem is, we have created a world for today's youngsters where that credential is practically required just to get your foot in the door. I'm sorry! The good news is, there are many jobs out there that really don't even care what you major in, so long as you have a degree. So, to a point, you will be able to change jobs.


Other possibilities: Get your associate's, find a job that offers tuition assistance, and use that to finish your schooling once you have a better idea of what direction you are going. Or, go into a skilled trade. Machine operators (CNC machine) make good money. Or, go in the military. There are options outside of college.


You are very perceptive however, to point out concerns with the cost of college. Wages have not kept up, and hopefully soon there will be a shift away from the notion that one must go to college! Dare to be different!


Kim


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Donna’s Answer

Lydia;

Making these decisions is unbelievably stressful and daunting. You have to know yourself and your situation. If funding is a concern, then that adds an extra layer of stress. College degrees allow you to enter the workforce at higher job salaries and quite frankly there are many companies who will not consider hiring without a college degree of some kind.

That being said, there are many other careers out there which don't require college. Have you considered trade schools? Consider looking for learning opportunities like Disney Dreamers Academy. In Wisconsin, there are a few leadership programs wipps.org, oshkoshchamber.com, and dpi.wi.gov offers a program and certification of employability skills.

If you are still struggling, the military is a great opportunity to gain independence and learn yourself. Plus, then you get money to pay for college. And if you have any interest in Space, there is now the new Space Corp. I took this path many years ago, after struggling in college with computer classes and making mediocre grades -- I went into the Navy under a computer repair field. Those years gave me the confidence to complete a course of study which I had an aptitude for in a hands-on environment. Now I am a successful engineer at a major telecom company.

So no path is wrong, you just need to move forward. Good luck

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Michelle’s Answer

Lydia,
That is a great question and I can understand the dilemma ...unfortunately, as Kim mentioned, that is the world today - it requires a college degree to even get your foot in the door. That's just a non-negotiable any more.

Couple of other observations - I think our social media driven culture has become a double edged sword for today's youth - It has opened up a world of possibilities with a click of a mouse and a few strokes on a keyboard; however, I think it's trapped a lot of people in decision paralysis. When you see all of the "best of the best" on social media...great things people are doing, so many parts of the world to explore, or numerous online educational opportunities with an extortionate number of career directions, how can you not get caught in the cycle of questioning which way to turn, which direction to pick, where to focus?

Best advice I can give.... and it's not rocket science, but just the simple truth - pick a lane and get your degree.

I'm sure you've heard a million times before, so this will be number million + one, there are countless number of people in a career that is completely opposite or unrelated to their degree. Think of your bachelor's or associates as a stepping stone... it's the first one that moves you toward true "adulting"... being independent, paying your own way, making your own decisions for your life.

Your "career" is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be many twists and turns, so step number one, change your mindset. You are not foolishly spending money but investing in the most important element... yourself! Step two...pick a lane, pick something you have an interest in and I guarantee you it will all work out as it should.

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Donna’s Answer

Lydia;

Making these decisions is unbelievably stressful and daunting. You have to know yourself and your situation. If funding is a concern, then that adds an extra layer of stress. College degrees allow you to enter the workforce at higher job salaries and quite frankly there are many companies who will not consider hiring without a college degree of some kind.

That being said, there are many other careers out there which don't require college. Have you considered trade schools? Consider looking for learning opportunities like Disney Dreamers Academy. In Wisconsin, there are a few leadership programs wipps.org, oshkoshchamber.com, and dpi.wi.gov offers a program and certification of employability skills.

If you are still struggling, the military is a great opportunity to gain independence and learn yourself. Plus, then you get money to pay for college. And if you have any interest in Space, there is now the new Space Corp. I took this path many years ago, after struggling in college with computer classes and making mediocre grades -- I went into the Navy under a computer repair field. Those years gave me the confidence to complete a course of study which I had an aptitude for in a hands-on environment. Now I am a successful engineer at a major telecom company.

So no path is wrong, you just need to move forward. Good luck

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Ken’s Answer

The best way to try to prevent this is to get to know yourself better to identify an area in which your personality traits match with others in the field and get to know people in that field, so that you can see if it is a good fit before you invest so much in the wrong area.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Ken’s Answer

Here are the next steps to follow (a continuation of the above answer)

Ken recommends the following next steps:

Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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