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College Talk Blog

College Major

What is the one BEST career for my teen?

In over 30 years working with both children and adults it has never ceased to amaze me how each person seems to come specifically equipped in personality, motivation and talent to enter a specific profession. Whatever that is for your kid, that is the BEST career field for them even if it is not on the current list of hot or trendy careers.
All parents want their child to be successful. Successful to most means that their child is in a field that is suited to them earning an income that meets their current and future needs.

What's my major? Uh, Do I have to decide now?

College is expensive and competition in the labor market is fierce. Two goals of savvy parents are to reduce college costs and to get good value for what they spend. Good value to most parents is gainful employment in the degree program of the student immediately upon graduation.
Some educators accept the idea that the teen years are too early for a student to choose a major. They like to tell students it is not necessary to choose a major before they apply to colleges. I beg to differ.

Assessment is Worth It

A college education is expensive and a career is a long term committment.  Don't spend that money or let your child spend his time in a career that is not suited to his talents and temperament. 
If your child receives awesome guidance and assessment through his high school guidance office, wonderful.  Chances are though, that he may not be getting the time or quality of assistance needed to make college major decisions.
If your child is not getting the kind of support needed, it is worth the price and time it takes to complete a good assessment and evaluation in preparation for a very important decision.

College Major Dilemma

Conventional wisdom is to send your child to the best college for him or her and your son or daughter will try subjects on for size and eventually arrive at a major. Although that wisdom will result in some good outcomes, I prefer to help
teens set realistic goals for themselves and pick a college according to their goals
as well as what suits them.
College now costs as much as a modest home or a very expensive car.  I have
some difficulty planning to spend that much money without a plan.

Choosing a college major that works for you

Choosing the best college major is a complex process.  The best major for any student is an area of study of interest to the student that best matches his temperament, skills and motivation.  It also needs to be a field where the student is likely to have career opportunities upon graduation from college.

College majors should not be selected because they are trendy, popular with peers or an unknown that sounds exciting.  An amazing number of students tell people their major is something popular on television, like CSI.