The modern job market is competitive, and for that reason many students (including high school students) are basing their education around a particular job that they want, discounting their long term career goals. This seems to be a bit of the opposite goal of post-secondary education (whatever happened to self growth and discovery?), but it’s a reality that students need to face objectively.
Today, university isn’t about the education. It’s about taking the right classes, attending the right lectures, and obtaining the right piece of paper. A lot of people (and myself included) feel that this progression has caused many students to focus on the wrong things when they are considering their education. Education is an asset, and it’s a shame if your time is spent focusing on how to get a job as a computer programmer as opposed to taking the classes that you want and the time to learn more about yourself.
There’s no arguing that obtaining a job – any job, these days – is more difficult than it used to be. Whereas competent people could find meaningful employment so long as they showed a genuine aptitude and interest in the position a few decades ago, today it takes much more: an intricately constructed and edited resume, some form of post-secondary certification, extra-curricular activities, and even part-time jobs that you had as a kid may come into consideration. This isn’t necessarily the result of many people becoming university educated, as it is more based on the amount of well qualified applicants vying for the same positions.
What’s more important in the long run? A job, or personal knowledge? As much as I’d love to “lay down the law”, the priorities of individuals vary dramatically, making it impossible for a universal truth to exist.
The only real answer to that question lies within yourself. You need to determine where your priorities are:
A reliable income – If making money is what’s important, you’ll probably want to focus your education on a particular job or career choice.
Stability – Personal and financial stability are often intertwined, so you’ll probably find yourself in the same situation as the point above.
Personal betterment and awareness – Education can bring about these qualities, and they are important to you you will want to focus on taking a path in university that will direct you towards the answers that you’re seeking.
I hope that I’ve helped clear a few clouds or, if you had never even considered your education as anything more than something to do, raised a few questions.