Who’s More Career-Minded: College Students or High Schoolers?

When building up to your career there are things that you must do to work your way up, such as community involvement, acquiring internships, and creating a network of people to help support you in your career pursuits. Things that many college students don’t actively do, instead only focusing their efforts on studying and making it past the next semester. Something that students have been trained to do through high school.

But according to a new study, high schoolers are apparently more career-minded than college students. Their logic behind this? High school students are taking part in more volunteer service and internships. Now one must ask, why do they lose interest the moment they step into college? Is it a generation thing, and the younger generation just happens to be more career minded that the other?

A CBS MoneyWatch columnist made an interesting commentary on the subject, saying that the reason that high school students are more active in their career pursuits is because they don’t have a choice in the matter. As we all know, to finish high school, one must have a certain number of volunteer hours under their belt in order to graduate. Whether their parents help them or not, students still must (even begrudgingly) seek out volunteer and internship opportunities if they ever wish to see their high school diploma.

Now the easy solution would be to just make it a requirement for college students to complete a predetermined number of volunteer hours in order to finish their degree. But whatever happened to simply showing students what they must do to attain their career goals and have them pursue that on their own? Besides, if a student really desires to pursue specific career, they’re going to do whatever it take to reach their goals anyway.

While the “do this or fail” incentive may work in motivating students to pursue their career, forcing students to actively volunteer and seek out internships will more than likely cause them to challenge whether or not that degree is really worth it to them instead. In the end, the idea may work better as a weeder than a true motivator.