Helping a child choose a college major is important. Switching majors and poor planning are costly factors that affect students AND parents! The stats eye-opening. More than 50% of college students change their majors. 44% of students transfer to a different college before graduating. Helping a child choose a college major and “getting it right” the first time means graduating on time and can save thousands upon thousands of dollars!
I spoke with University Research and Review Founder Joe Schmoke for some tips and resources for parents for helping a child choose a college major.
Helping A Child Choose A College Major
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – It’s quite difficult for a 17-18 year old to know what he/she wants to do for the of their life. What tips do you suggest for helping your child find a career or helping a child choose a college major.
Joe Schmoke, Founder of University Research and Review – The first thing a parent should realize is that half of those that enroll in college change their major/field of study at least once, so it isn’t absolutely necessary, or realistic, to worry too much about what you son or daughter “wants to be when they grow up.” On the other hand, there are the fifty percent who stick with a chosen career path; it’s important that those people make the right choice. So how does a parent deal with this? The parent many times does not want to discourage their child from doing what he or she wants. That’s not the right approach. Think about the parental guidance that has taken place over the previous sixteen or seventeen years; now’s not the time to stop even though the teenager may think he or she has all the answers. The answers, in this case, are really guesses, and the better guesses are always made with two things: research and objective advice. The research can be done online, including finding a proven personality profile test – not the ubiquitous online “tests” that tell you what kind of animal you most resemble or what kind of car you are. One such free test can be found online at www.urandr.org as part of a free service that recommends majors and colleges.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Does the decision for which college to attend rely solely on the child? Or, do the parents get some input… and if so, what is appropriate?
Joe Schmoke, Founder of University Research and Review – College choice as solely a child’s decision? This decision is the first “adult” (i.e., expensive with long lasting effects) decision a child will participate in. Unless your child has bought a home with his or her own money – and credit rating – the choice of a college should be made with parental participation. A parent probably doesn’t want their son or daughter to be faced with crippling debt as a result of choosing a college for “the experience of attending” while ignoring the financial commitment being made. Refer to some of the suggestions supplied in earlier questions.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – What if a child does not want to go to college? What can parents do to help them with their career choices?
Joe Schmoke, Founder of University Research and Review – Not everyone should go to college. There are well paying careers that don’t require a college education. Do research. Use the free guidance at www.urandr.org. And remember a seventeen or eighteen year old is not finished with maturing and he or she might change their mind once they are in their twenties. The human brain, as stated by neuroscientist Dr. Jill Bolte, changes one hundred percent between puberty and about twenty-five. So what a seventeen year old likes will most likely change a few times before she reaches twenty-five.
ABOUT UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AND REVIEW
University Research and Review uses students surveys to formulate the best possible fields of study and best possible potential schools for students to pursue their career. Days after the survey is complete, a report suggests recommended fields of study and about five schools, out of the more than 7,000 colleges and universities in the United States. The service is tailored to a variety of end users, including high school students, current college students considering switching schools or majors, or professionals interested in going back to school. URR’s results are unbiased and never favor one institution over another, ensuring an even playing field and unbiased suggestions from URR advisors.
For more info on Helping A Child Choose A College Major, visit www.urandr.org.