Deciding On A College Degree

We often hear that ‘job mismatch’ is the reason why we have high number of unemployed college graduates. The term means current job openings are not matched with the competence and/or degrees that our graduates took in college. The situation can be blamed on the bandwagon mentality that prevails when students and parents  decide on courses to pursue. Popular courses are swamped with enrollees who end up unemployed after graduation.

They say and I believe that education is the best inheritance parents could give to their children. Education is the best weapon against unforeseen crisis of the future. Having a college degree is not a guarantee of a secured future but it will definitely help. Whether our children will pursue a career as an employee or make his own business, it is his education that will best guide him on his quest for a better life. With these, deciding on what college degree to take cannot be taken for granted.

It happened to me more than forty (40) years ago so the experience may no longer apply today although the scenarios then and now have similarities so it still may be worth considering.  Let me say that this article is not intended to interfere with your decision, I am just relating my experience as a student then and as a parent lately.

When I graduated from high school, I had a degree in mind that I knew my parents cannot support. Being the oldest child of a family raised in a farming community, I very well know the need to finish my college so that I could later find a job that could support my future as well as help in the education of my younger siblings. With those in mind, I decided to take up engineering but with no specific specialization in mind. I cannot engage my parents in making the decision because they were just a simple farmer and a homemaker.

I was already in my second year in college when I consulted an uncle who finished a college degree. With no specific preference, I asked him what kind of an engineer should I be. Without batting an eyelash, he advised me to pursue a degree on Metallurgical Engineering,  a course that was  not popular but paying high. I did and never regret following his advice.

What do i want to come across on this article? Should we, as parents and elders, interfere in our children’s choice of college degrees? By all means, I say yes, let us ask what course they want to take up in college and why. Discuss with them the pros and cons of his being a graduate of such course. There’s no guarantee that he will not end up among graduates with degrees that do not match the job openings if you discuss before deciding on a college degree should help avoid such circumstance.

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