Monday, September 9, 2013
I remember back in my high school we were assigned to meet with a guidance counselor a couple of times per year. When I was a freshman, sophomore, and junior, their advice seemed to be laid back, without any pressure or intensity. Then all of a sudden when we became seniors, their attitudes took a markedly serious turn? "You only have a few more months before graduation. How can you not have detailed plans for your future laid out in every detail?! You had better do some serious thinking about your future and do it quickly!" It seemed like up until the last minute their attitudes were all "don't worry, be happy" and then suddenly they were ranting and raving because the majority of folks really had done no planning at any level.
Anyway, all of this got me to wondering about when young people start to get a realistic sense of what they want to do when they "grow up". Do most high school graduates who go to college (a fraction typically in the 50-60% range) go with a reasonably mature plan for what they want to do for a career? Are they just going off to school because that is what is expected of them? Are they just trying to buy time? What about those high school graduates who don't go to college? I wonder how long it took them to reach some sort of career equilibrium? It would be interesting to compare what careers folks ended up in versus the plans that they had when they graduated from high school. What fraction of these young people ended up where they thought they would? It would be fascinating to know what specific seed was planted in their lives that eventually sprouted forth into the career path they ultimately chose.
Posted by Daniel