Talking to Your Teen About Careers and College Post Pandemic

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” is a question they’ve been asked from an early age.  Industry demands change every decade. Looking at high growth areas such as healthcare, tech or environmental conservation may be the way that you want to start the conversation with your teen. Other parents may want to make college (no matter what) a focus.  Many lucrative career paths, however, are no longer requiring college degrees.  Trades and other training opportunities increasingly come as a result of experience versus degrees. So, when talking to your teen about careers and college post pandemic, it’s good to remain open to all ideas. Encouraging research through on site as well as online exploration is key.

Some Career Talk Guidelines:
  1. Introduce the concept of careers as early as possible. Take them to work at an early age. Let other trusted friends and family take them to their jobs, as well.  Expose them to as many environments and settings as possible.
  2. Encourage internships and volunteer work projects as soon as possible
  3. Ask open ended questions about the future. What does your teen love to do in their free time? Might there be a way to build a career around that?
  4. Provide support and encouragement. Remind them where they excel.
  5. Collaborate but don’t direct. Do not speak for them.
  6. Don’t pose ultimatums: they always backfire.
  7. Encourage your kids to make the most of their high school counselors and other resources they can connect with and relate to such as Holistic Learning

Provide Empowerment Thru Self-Assessment

“Encouraging teens to explore career cluster information and aptitude self-assessments which are readily available online can be a great way to get them started on the path towards a fulfilling career,” according to Holistic Learning College & Career Counselor Jess Spayd.

Holistic Learning provides tutoring, wellness, learning strategies, career counseling and career seminars for students to explore at their own pace or in live settings. Weekly career seminars with leading experts from a wide variety of professions are available as well as interactive self-development workshops and facilitated future-planning sessions to aid with personal, academic, and professional growth. Group and individual sessions with experienced college and career counselors help give teens a sense of self-direction. This, combined with a video library featuring a wide variety of topics related to finding purpose and motivation in life, college, careers and beyond, can open students’ eyes to the countless possibilities available to them.

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    How to Choose Public or Private College

    Clearing up misconceptions about public and private colleges paves the way for personal pro and con list

    Things to consider:
    1) Cost

    Though private institutions are supported primarily with endowments and tuition fees, they are also supported by (tax-payer supported) government funds.  Public schools are mostly supported by government funds and have smaller tuition, particularly for in-state students. All colleges and universities have plenty of financial aid to offer. So, don’t assume private schools are more expensive.

    2) Size and Major

    Considerations for class size and majors offered should also be on your decision list when choosing public and private colleges.  In general, public universities have larger general class sizes for the first required courses.  Do you prefer intimate learning experiences in a class of 20? Maybe you like a midsize class of 50 where you can still easily get all your questions answered? How about a huge lecture of 300+ where you are completely anonymous?  As you advance in your major, college class sizes diminish.  Public schools tend to offer more majors overall, so look through degree descriptions to compare offerings and learning opportunities. 

    3) Learning Style

    Are you a hands-on, tactile learner or do you prefer to sit and listen? Do you need or want labs? How do you want your research area to look and feel? Do you prefer career professionals teach courses?  All of these things are important to consider.  Always ask questions if you do not see the information you need on a particular college website. 

    4) Social Activity and Campus Life

    Want to see familiar faces on campus or prefer a variety?  Your social, athletic and other campus activities (volunteer, faith based, pre-professional, clubs, Greek life, etc.) are also considerations. The right combination of social, campus life, and activity enhances your learning and overall college experience. 

    5) Think Outside the Box

    In October, 2021 the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey reported college enrollment in the U.S. dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020. Small private colleges are extremely tuition-dependent and particularly affected by this decline. However, public colleges aren’t immune. 

    Don’t be discouraged when choosing public and private colleges. Universities are thinking outside the box. The perfect learning environment for you might just be a newly created one. 

    5) What Else?

    Holistic Learning provides many useful resources to help high school students navigate the pros and cons of choosing Public vs. Private Colleges,” states Career & Counseling Chief Jess Spyad. “Winding up in the right place after high school is important. There’s nothing better to help you make your decision than a comprehensive, integrated support platform. Tutoring, learning strategies, meditation and wellness courses, college and career counseling, and career seminars are all critical elements of a well-rounded approach to your development as a person and a student. Luckily for you, Holistic Learning offers all of this and more in an affordable package!” 

    Learn More About Holistic Learning

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    Meet with one of our experts for 30 minutes

    Get your questions answered and receive a personalized Holistic Learning plan!