Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

There’s more than one path to a satisfying career

News Image

We all make youthful mistakes, it's just the ones we make with regard to education are particularly persistent. Too many students are dropping out of uni, too many regret the electives they’ve chosen and too many arrive at and finish university unsure of what career path to take.

The problem seems to start in High school; it’s expected, or encouraged at least, that most will go on to attend university, this might need a major rethink. Most schools currently spend less than the value of a cup of coffee per student per year on careers advice.

According to research from TwoPointZero who provide coaching and careers advice, nearly a quarter (24%) of young people are unsure of which career direction to take, with over half (55%) coming to regret their electives.

“These figures clearly highlight a systemic problem with the way we educate young people on their career path. We’ve created a herd mentality, where high schools, parents and peer pressure are pushing young people towards university, saying it’s the only way to get a good career, earn good money and get ahead,” says Steve Shepherd, CEO and youth career coach at TwoPointZero.

“As such, is it the University’s fault that so many young people end up dropping out? Are we encouraging too many young people to go to university, when it doesn’t really suit their strengths? Is this creating a problem where young people pick any degree to say they’ve been to university, without thinking about the impact it will have on their careers?

“In my mind, the problem starts before university. Applications for university are higher than ever but you can’t tell me everyone wants to go to university or is suited to it? In reality, that’s not really the way it should work.

 “Many of the most in demand jobs at the moment, don’t require a degree. So why all the pressure to go to university? There needs to be a better balance and we need to start educating young people on their career paths much earlier. This would help prevent people from taking a degree for the sake of it and better align their education with their chosen career path, making it more relevant to the employment market.

“And, if they still want to go to university, we need to have safety nets in place to intervene if they are likely to drop out. In our experience, one small tweak to the subjects they take or changing course can prevent them from dropping out and see them succeed.

“We need to provide more guidance to parents to help them understand the employment market isn’t the same as when they left school. And, we need to stop thinking going to university is the be all and end all.”

Could performance funding be a distraction from the real issue?

“Performance funding is not the answer. It doesn’t actually address the issue, just distracts from it and could lead to higher education being out of reach for many young people today.

“Everyone is different. Everyone likes different things. Everyone has different strengths. It is time we accept that and better align our educational institutions to encourage diversity and create better career paths for our young people.

“Otherwise, we’ll continue to see the youth unemployment rate rise. Continue to see an increase in drop-outs and more young people in debt. And, will end up creating a huge problem for the Australian economy, as we will not have a strong workforce to support our country moving forwards.”

 


12 Dec 2018
Year 12 exam results aren't everything News Image

Year 12 is both a start and an ending and this period of change can be stressful. But there is help available if kids seem to be struggling with their mental health.
Read More

12 Dec 2018 | National
Bypass ATAR News Image

There are a few anxious school leavers right now, maybe they didn't get the ATAR they needed for the course they wanted or maybe they didn’t pass at all, but fear not there is more than one way to skin a cat. Read More

11 Dec 2018 | NSW
Rural school’s learning platform make for easy access learning News Image

Located on the Victoria-New South Wales (NSW) border, Wodonga Middle Years College (WMYC) has leveraged technology so every student can access education from anywhere at any time. Read More

11 Dec 2018 | National
Queenslanders best Young ICT Explorers News Image

The 2018 national winners of the Young ICT Explorers competition have been announced with teams from Queensland and Australian Capital Territory taking home the top prizes. Read More

10 Dec 2018 | International
Finland to use Aus education toolkit News Image

We’re often told to look to Finland for direction on education but the tables have been turned with the Nordic nation adopting National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative’s (NESLI) Staff Wellbeing Toolkit. Read More