You may have heard that without vision, teenagers wander into food court water fountains. Or something like that. It's the same with college planning, without a vision, college-bound students may wander. This is where Higher Calling can help you get started! Here are four steps to take towards a clear future.
Step 1: First, decide that you want to earn a post-secondary education. This decision is important because some jobs may only require a certificate or some technical training. Others require more education. I recommend earning a four-year bachelor's degree since 65% of future jobs will require a bachelor's degree.
A 53-year old firefighter has been working as a professional fireman in Dallas since he was 19 years old. What an incredible career of service to his community! He earned his 2-year associate's degree years ago. When a Fire Chief opening became available, he wanted to apply. While he has the required experience, he does not have the required education. To become a Fire Chief, he needs a 4-year bachelor's degree. It is important to know what your career goals are, so you can plan accordingly.
Once a decision to earn a bachelor's degree has been made, you need to develop a plan. Start by searching for a major in a fast growing career that complements your calling. When trying to figure out what you're called to do, remember to consider what problems you want to solve, what grips your heart, and even what keeps you up at night - besides cramming for that world history midterm.
Step 2: Once you have selected a major, find a college that is the right academic, social, and emotional fit. If you select a college before you select a career option, you may find out that your favorite I'm-going-to-this-college-no-matter-what doesn't have a program with your desired major. So step 1 (major selection) comes before step 2 (college selection).
Step 3: Finally, once you have a list of colleges that are a good match based on your career choice, you can determine which is the best financial fit. If you start your college search with the cost in mind, you may eliminate affordable options. Since the average four-year cost of attendance is between $83,000 - $183,000 depending on the college (public or private) and career (liberal arts, engineering, aviation), you need to have a plan to pay for college. (Note: There are over 30 colleges where a bachelor's degree will cost a quarter-of-a-million dollars. Yes, $250,000! And you might get free pizza on Thursday's.)
Step 4: Once you've made a commitment to the right fit college, you're ready to begin preparing for your higher calling, future career, and life goals. So let's start career planning.
Making wise decisions don't just happen. You need to plan, work, review, and revise your plans. Remember, college planning is a process (watch this video by Chispa Motivation)..
Through student ministry and educational consulting (career and college planning), I have enjoyed guiding teenagers to discover their higher calling.