Over the years, there has been a large debate on whether having a college degree is important or not. As of 2019, only 51% of the U.S. population believes that going to college is important. The main reason why the other half of the population doesn’t see it as important is the lack of accessibility to higher education.
The student debt crisis has only been getting worse throughout the years. It doesn’t help that college tuition has also been increasing. No wonder people would rather opt not to get a college degree. Because if they do, they might end up spending several years of their life in debt. This is especially true for students who come from low-income families. However, the number of kids enrolling in college that come from low-income families is increasing. Only a small percentage of them actually end up finishing their degrees.
Aside from rising college tuition, another factor plays a part in how people perceive higher education. The media often likes to portray that having a bachelor’s degree will not guarantee your success. This is misleading because statistics show that having a bachelor’s degree can actually benefit your child’s future in several ways.
College serves as a foundation. Going to college teaches students the practical skills that they’ll be able to apply in the workplace. Some of these skills include communication skills, writing skills, research skills, and research skills. All of these are important in any career path your child chooses. It also teaches your child how to think critically and allows them to hone their talents in their chosen courses.
Having a degree also greatly affects an employer’s decision to hire you. The unemployment rate of people who graduate with a bachelor’s degree is only 4.7%. Those who opt not to go to college has an 8.6% unemployment rate. College graduates also earn 80% more than non-college graduates. A clear indication that having a degree will benefit your child.
Yes, there is a concern about college tuition and student-loan debt, but there are actually tons of affordable universities trying to give your child access to great higher-education. That is why you should definitely still consider sending your child to college to finish their degree. Now that you know a degree matters, does your child’s major matter? What is the difference between the two anyway? A degree is a general term for higher education. A major is a specific program that your child will be under.
In the case of majors, it really depends. Some people choose a major, and they end up in a career exactly related to that major. Others choose a major and end up being successful in a career with little relevance to their major. Choosing a major can be nerve-wracking for your child. That’s because they think that by picking a major, they’ll be boxed in that field forever, which isn’t entirely true. But they still might need a little help picking a major. So how do you help your child pick a major?
1. Understand that this isn’t entirely your choice to make
Most parents want the best for their children. They think that deciding for their child is what’s best for them. Wrong. You have to let your child decide for themselves. Your purpose is only to help them decide, but you don’t decide for them. You might want them to become a lawyer, but is that what they want? When your child leans toward a major that interests them, it’s most likely because they’re good at it. And if you notice that they aren’t, most times when someone is interested in a topic, they will try their best to be good. Just don’t be so quick to discourage them.
2. Help narrow their decisions
But what do you do when your child isn’t interested in any major? There are hundreds of majors to choose from, and it can be overwhelming. The trick is to think broadly at first. Identify whether your child leans more toward arts or if they’re more into sciences. Once you’ve got that down, you’ve sliced your options into half. You can start narrowing things down from there. If you feel really lost, you can always search the internet for some quizzes or personality tests. The MBTI personality test is an example.
3. Do research, tons of research
Some majors can sound very intimidating and sometimes underwhelming at first. The best thing to do when you don’t understand what a major is about is to do research. Colleges often provide descriptions and a full rundown of each program on their websites. If you know anyone who has taken such majors, you could ask them for advice as well. Besides searching the major itself, you can also search about what career paths each major can lead to.
In the end, we all want what’s best for our child. But we have to understand that their future is very much in their hands, not ours. However, we can still help them decide.