Some parents ask me for advice about what their teens should study in University … and I always say, ask them.
There are three key questions that should be asked to confirm that the path of study chosen is one based on logic and not emotionally driven desire, and more importantly, is one that represents them and not others.
I heard a lecture the other day about the state of higher education in the world and how it has moved away from the ‘provision of knowledge and space for thought’ to the ‘provision of information and tools’, denying every person’s right to grow and explore the world without the pressure of success and survival.
When I was in high school, my thought process, which I have shared with many others and seen success, went as follows,
- What subjects and activities am I good at in high school, i.e. strengths?
- What bachelors degrees offer me the opportunity to primarily focus on these and related strengths?
- Which degrees will lead to a clear service proposition (what you do) for others (employment), be it individuals or organizations, without the need for further degrees*?
* including medicine, law etc…
Cover these three questions for discovery (where your teen does not know what to study) or validation (for those who have identified their path).
These are tested and tried.
Let your teens choose based on their strengths and not the ‘job’ they dream of.
Times change, but strengths do not, and they will be the key to long term success.
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