I frequently get asked when it is time to start thinking about colleges, careers and majors. Certainly the earlier the better and there are plenty of things you can do well in advance to prepare yourself for making these critical decisions. Middle school and certainly high school freshman can begin a low impact process. It is also important to understand that when you do the work up front, it allows you to have greater peace of mind, focus on other important details, and to understand that even with the work you have done, you can still change your mind but within a more defined framework for success. It’s about creating opportunities!
In June of 2008, The Wall Street Journal published an article referencing The Highlands Ability Battery and the importance of students being able to identify their natural abilities for the benefit of lifelong career management. But it is also important to understand that the abilities that are measured at age 17 for a high school student, remain constant throughout your life. Therefore, the results are applicable for a lifetime and serve as a great resource in career decisions whether that decision includes deciding on a major area of study, promotion opportunity, going back to school, or transitioning into retirement.
Selecting the right major can mean the difference between graduating college on time or becoming one of the national statistics. Nationally, less than 40% of college students complete a four-year degree on time and more than 51% require up to 6 years to complete a four-year degree. That frightening statistic impacts your ability to create a productive income after 4 years, but it also comes with a price tag that equates to a national average of $30,000 per student in loan debt due to changed majors. Imagine being ahead of the game just by graduating on time! Imagine saving $30,000 for an advanced degree or to open your own business just because you had a plan and graduated on time!