Parents: Encourage Education
"What is the single most important way parents can contribute to their daughters' and sons' long-term careers? By providing them with good education and training - because the better their education and training, the better their employment prospects; and the better their jobs, the better the income. That's the way the social system works." These are the words of Professor Luther Otto in his award winning book, Helping Your Child Choose a Career (1996, JIST Works). He is a well known and respected expert on youth and careers.
Following this strategy, you will want to do everything you can to support and encourage your children's success in school. This will include taking the time to listen and help, to encourage, to hold reasonably high expectations, to work with teachers, and to set aside funds for further education.
Encourage your child to take the highest level math, science, and technology courses they are able to master -- so that the doors to higher level educational programs are not closed to them later on.
Does your child's school place students in "career pathways"? Or, "career clusters" or "career fields"? The schools in most states now do this. This is a critical decision. It will have a major impact on your child's future -- his or her success and satisfaction in school and future career. Questions to keep in mind:
- Which pathways match my child's interests?
- Does the school use a valid career interest test? An invalid measure can mislead and be harmful. Unfortunately, many school officials are misinformed.
To learn about career clusters and pathways, read our interactive article "Choose a Career Cluster or Career Pathway".
We also offer a comprehensive "eBook" 5 Steps to Choosing the Right Career Cluster, Field or Pathway. You can purchase it from our Store and download as a PDF to your computer. It gives the pathways for hundreds of occupations based on career interests.
All of these will involve some personal sacrifice and parent-child conflicts, but as parents it is our responsibility. And speaking from experience, the satisfaction of seeing your children get off to a good start is a wonderful feeling.