College Career Life Planning

Education Planning

Tools for



First, identify the career area that best "fits" your skills, interests and needs and then choose the post-secondary education/training that will help you succeed in that career area.  Otherwise, it is like putting a car in drive before you have any clue where you want to go.  You will end up somewhere, but you may not be happy with the destination. 

While you do not need to precisely determine your career (e.g. anesthesiologist, manufacturing operations analyst, biotech engineer) in high school, you should dedicate enough time to career exploration/planning to determine the general career area (e.g. technical career, health care, business, engineering) that you wish to pursue.   The curriculum for different career areas varies significantly.   

After selecting your career area, you can identify potential "education" providers (e.g. college, technical schools) and assess their ability to meet your other needs (e.g. location, size, cost, academic environment, extracurricular activities, job placement).   

Frequently, parents (and students) view a college degree as an end in itself. They assume that a college degree ensures success and happiness.  Despite what some people think, wondering aimlessly through college and changing majors three or four times to randomly test career interests is not a normal, effective nor necessary approach.  Rather, this approach wastes time, $$$ and resources, as well as, producing significant frustration for students (and parents).  Imagine how a student feels after spending four years of their life and $100,000+ on college to find themself waiting tables upon graduation.   

While most attractive careers require post-secondary education, many of these jobs do not require a 4-year college degree.  As the low college completion rate suggests, a 4-year degree is not for everyone.   If your education has little relevance to your ultimate career, it will have limited value.  Education for education's sake is OK, but with college costing $20,000+/yr. and global competition for jobs increasing dramatically, I'd focus first on acquiring marketable skills for a promising career.


Education Planning (Start with Career Planning)

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