Careers 201 - For parents of second-year students
Generally, during the second year of
college, a student begins to explore majors and career options more
seriously. Many colleges and universities require that new students take
a broad range of subjects to promote this exploration.
What's your role in this step of development?
- Don't insist upon a decision about a
major or possible career choice immediately. If you sense that your
student's indecision is a barrier to positive progress, urge that he or
she look for assistance in the career center. Students often have
difficulty making a "final" choice because they fear they may close off
options and make a wrong choice.
- Suggest that your son or daughter talk with faculty and career advisers about potential
- Don't assume that if your child
chooses to major in English, history, philosophy, or some other
"impractical" major that he or she will never get a job. Liberal arts
studies sharpen skills which are critical to the "package" employers are
seeking: strong written and oral communication skills; problem-solving
skills; the ability to synthesize information; and excellent research
- Suggest learning a foreign language
and developing computer skills. Both of these skills can be helpful in
today's market, no matter what career field he or she chooses!
- Direct your child to family,
friends, or colleagues who are in fields in which your student has an
interest. "Informational Interviewing" with people can be extremely
helpful at this stage!
- Steer your child toward a source of
information. Many campuses have a career consultant or mentoring network
of alumni in various career fields who are willing to share information
with students about their careers. These resources are invaluable both
in this exploratory stage and later as students are seeking internships
Thanks to the National Association of Colleges and Employers for the content.