What is utterly astounding to me is the number of articles that have come out about how the number one problem with college is the cost of tuition. While I agree that tuition has increased in an unjustifiable manner, far outpacing the rising cost of living, I believe the key problem with college is not the college itself, but the lack of career preparation of the student.
The vast majority of parents bring their child to college and drop them off with minimal or no idea what kind of career is a true fit for their adolescent. They hope that will get worked out over time through coursework and life experience.
Statistics do not support the idea that adolescents efficiently find their way, but they do suggest the opposite. Adolescents typically change their major approximately six times, says one major study. The largest percentage of adolescents are coming home after college than ever before, says another major study reported in the news. The bad news goes on and on and on.
Meanwhile, the cost of college is not the primary problem. Rather, the primary problem is the lack of self-understanding the student has when they arrive at college. Secondly, just because they take coursework and live the college life does not mean they are going to understand themselves any better even four years later.
The news story that has not been written but would represent the best investigative journalism would be the story which reveals how a college degree is unjustifiably costly if what the person studied did not clearly relate to what their career is going to be. For that to happen, a student needs to have gone through a thorough vocational assessment process BEFORE college.
Rather than making the mistaken assumption that colleges have the time to do in-depth career guidance, which they don’t as most college counselors have over a 100-300 students on their plate, make your adolescent responsible for figuring out what they are meant to do by undergoing personalized career guidance BEFORE or early on in college.
A thorough vocational assessment process x-rays not only a person’s natural aptitudes, but also their passions, technical skills, and key psychological tendencies that energize them and will critically and reliably predict what they will be successful at going forward.
The saying goes that there are many roads that lead to Rome. Unfortunately, if Rome is a life-long, deeply satisfying, and economically stable career, then there is only one road that leads to it – unless you are born knowing what you want to do: a vocational assessment process that turns you inside out.
In other words, The Road where you discover your Workplace Personality!
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Meet the Behavior Science Expert
Dr. Tom Brunner is a compassionate guidance counselor, behavioral science expert, and published research scientist. His main mission is to utilize the very best tools to give people uniquely hand tailored, impactful, and durable solutions to their pressing educational or career challenges. View the Overview of his college and career matching process. You may view his portfolio here. He has worked in-the-trenches with all walks of life, from mentoring struggling students to helping gifted/talented adolescents and adults professionals accelerate their development. He is an innovator who has received awards from the Early Career Psychologist Award (by the Arizona Psychological Foundation) as well the Society for Personality Assessment. Dr. Brunner is senior author of a behavioral science measurement tool adapted into 11 languages. He is author of numerous presentations and peer reviewed scientific articles, sometimes alongside leading experts. As a PhD Board Licensed Psychologist, he has served as an expert witness in the legal arena, and has been consulted by local (Tucson Electric Power) and nationwide organizations. To read his bio, click here, read his resume here.