Which College vs Which Career?

“I’m not sure which career and college to focus on, Dad.” Kelly grabbed a freshly baked cookie from the plate her mom had just brought in. “How did you decide on engineering?”

Mr. Morgan smiled. “Well, I went through some of the same steps you will. First of all, ask the Lord to guide you in your decisions. There are so many areas you’ll need to consider, Honey. Start by making a list of which subjects you enjoy at school and where you get the highest grades.”

“That won’t take long. Then what should I do?”

 “Okay, then list the extra classes you’ve taken for college credit, the different clubs you’re a member of, the offices you’ve held and the sports you’ve played. Oh yes, don’t forget the volunteer work you’ve done, like the group you organized to collect toys for underprivileged children at Christmas. This information will be a resume of your accomplishments and activities in school and the community. It will help you to make a career choice and choose a good fit of a college or university.”

“I have an appointment to see my school adviser. Should I take this info to him?”

“Yes, it will help him to advise you. Meanwhile, I’ll be going over our finances. If you could qualify for a scholarship, that will help, and there are student loans to consider. Money will be one factor that will determine which school you’ll attend.”

Kelly was blessed to have a family who prayed for her. Not every teen is so fortunate, but Christians have access to the Lord. Prayer can be forgotten with the pressure of achieving high test scores for graduation, college applications and when finances for college begin to mount up. Asking the Lord to help you should always be at the top of you priority list.

Take aptitude and personality tests. They will help you determine which career field is a good match for you.

Scott attended a state college and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. However, after several years in the business world, he realized he had chosen the wrong career, so he reviewed the aptitude and personality tests, which he took before graduating from college. The tests showed that teaching was the best field for him. Although he had never given teaching serious consideration, after researching elementary education and the requirements to become a licensed teacher, he knew he had found his passion. Scott attended a local university for a year and received a Master’s Degree in Arts and Teaching.

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success,” by Nicholas Lore is a highly recommended book for those choosing a career direction.1 One reader said, “I recommend The Pathfinder as the sole resource for anybody who is choosing a first career, career change, or any life event that requires a deep understanding of one’s core interests and goals in life.”2 You will find exploring individual college and university websites and browsing the library collections a help in comparing careers and colleges.

Here are some questions you will need to answer in order to help find the best university, college or trade school for your career field.3

• Do you want a specialized education, such as pre-med, engineering, teaching or ministry?

• Is it better to take the required classes at a community college?

• Will you apply for scholarships? If so, which schools offer what you need?

• How will financial concerns dictate which college you attend?

• Do you want to stay close to home or expand your horizons across the country?

The process of choosing a career and college can be overwhelming, but the Lord will be with you. “I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear. I will help you.’”4

© Barbara Lighthizer

1 The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, by Nicholas Lore; 1998; Touchstone Books.

2 The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, by Nicholas Lore: Touchstone Books: (Internet) Customer Reviews: www.amazon.com;

3 “College: 10 Step Guides - How to Choose the Right College,” by Gen and Kelly Tahabe (Internet) www.supercollege.com/guide.

4 Isaiah 41:13; NIV.