This week, my Facebook feed is full of graduation photos. It’s been a while since Prince Charming graduated so it’s been refreshing to see all the big, shiny smiles. It’s hard to tell whether they are actually happy or totally panicked.
This is true for both the parents and the kids. There is an awful lot of pressure about what happens after school is done. Of course we want our kids to be educated and contribute but I think we need to reevaluate the importance we place on agonizing every step of the journey.
What your child does in September may not, in any way, be related to what they will be when they grow up. Whether they start with college, university or a gap year, it’s all progress.
I was at a summit put on by Colleges Ontario and it was amazing to hear about how closely they are working with industry to develop supportive curriculum. New programs are being added every year and they lead to occupations that are new and exiting.
Think about the world of digital media and all of the new jobs in that industry. And what about app development? Is there an industry that is not moving toward being more connected?
This is our big frontier. The fourth revolution ( after the industrial one) is the digital one and it is just packed with opportunity. Things are changing faster than ever before and you can either keep up or get out of the way.
When your kids want to sign up for a one year program that leads to immediate work, try hard not to be discouraging even if you feel that university is the only real way to build a great career.
If you believe in lifelong learning (and who doesn’t?) then expect your kids to do a combination of college and university over the first 10 years of their career and then continue with courses as things change in their lives and in their jobs.
So relax. Listen to their rational and help them sort out they best way to maximize the experience. Then sit back and let it happen.