Does your teen plan to attend college after high school graduation? Many teens are ready to start working and making a path for themselves in a career that doesn't require college, while others have a few goals in mind to accomplish before settling into the adult world. College isn't for everyone, and some teens are better off considering other options right away, rather than attempting a year or two of college halfheartedly.
We checked in with author and CEO Patrick Bet-David about his tips for teens considering a different path than college. Bet-David's own path to career success took him from the military to Morgan Stanley. "I think college is a system that we've all kind of bought into and haven't really ever questioned," he shared. "Does someone really need four years to earn a degree? Why not two years? Why not a year and a half? Many of the engineering courses nowadays need to constantly update their curriculum because of how quickly things are changing," he adds. "But if a kid wants to be a doctor, lawyer, civil engineer or a specific trade, then college is necessary." Bet-David recommends that parents let their kids go to community college for two years, then decide if it's wise to invest in the next two years based on the discipline shown by their child.
How can parents help guide their teens into careers that will work best for them? "I would spend more time as a parent trying to figure out what my child enjoys doing and what he's good at, than pushing him in a direction that I want him to go towards," says Bet-David. "Not only will trying to please Mom and Dad not fulfill him, but it could potentially have long-term effects of resentment towards them." Parents can do this with their children from an early age, and help them learn about themselves in relation to a career they might enjoy or not.
We asked if a variety of experience makes young adults more valuable to employers. "I think having several jobs and experiences can bring a ton of value to a future employer, but I do believe that the earlier you find out which industry you'll be a part of, the larger the victory you'll have in the long term," Bet-David says. He recommends that young adults determine the industry they plan to be in for at least 10 years.
Bet-David offers the following list of potential avenues to pursue for graduates not heading to college.
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