Parents can play a significant role in helping their students make informed decisions about their future. This begins with encouraging your student to begin early in seeking out ways to explore careers.
First, many parents give their son or daughter a hard time for being indecisive about their career direction. Some students will haphazardly choose a major or career just to get their parents off their back. It's important to realize that there is a readiness factor and that each student is different. For those students in career-track majors (accounting, engineering, teaching, etc.), the career choice is more straightforward.
However, for many liberal arts majors (philosophy, history, etc.), the options are much more diverse.
Helping them on their Journey
Choosing a major is a journey, so make sure your student spends some time thinking about it before making a decision. And don't be discouraged if they still don't have a major after the first semester, or even their first year - your goal should be to support them as they narrow their focus from all possible majors to a few areas that they can then explore in greater depth. Your student’s major in college is important for their first job after graduation, but studies show that most people will change careers about four or five times over the course of their lives. No single major exists that can prepare them fully for that!
A Final Note
As you well know, a career is a very important part of one's life. There are too many people in the working world who live for after five o'clock and weekends. Likewise, we see too many students floundering through college without a real sense of purpose or direction. The cost of higher education is much too expensive to watch your student go through the motions for four years! Encourage your son or daughter to become active in exploring careers before and during college, and offer unconditional support as he or she grapples over one of life's major decisions.
Career Planning Resources