Choosing a career path can be exciting, confusing, and frustrating at times. It can be challenging to select your college degree since many students going to college don’t know yet how they want to spend the rest of their lives. The first question is whether one should go to college or start working right away.
Some students would skip college for this very reason. Others miss college since their career path does not require a degree in the first place. Some students also have no financial means to pay for college and believe taking a student loan will only be an additional burden.
Don’t forget that other students find traditional academic settings extremely challenging. Their primary source of stress is the endless projects and assignments, mind-numbing classes and exams, as well as overcrowded lecture halls. Some students would instead build their careers by investing in career capital.
Gen Z as the New Generation of College Students
Gen Z composes most of the incoming and current population of college students. They have certain traits and personalities that influence how they choose their career path. For one, they are both practical and money-driven.
Gen Z wants to make the most out of every penny spent on their college degree. They are a bunch of money-driven students who prioritize savings and debt settlement. They learned from their millennial parents that they need to be more strict and wise when it comes to anything that involves making financial choices.
It is also common for today’s generation of college students to change their career plans. This does not necessarily mean they are changing their majors. Even before the pandemic, many college students would make changes in their career, including changing college, graduating earlier or later, and changing plans after college or grad school.
Choosing the Right College
Modern students have their own criteria when choosing what college to attend. Most of the time, it boils down to the college’s affordability and value. Many students also consider the following crucial details before choosing a college institution.
Health and Safety
Health and safety became a major factor when choosing what college to study at during the pandemic. Many students, along with their parents and guardian, fear their kids’ health and safety while studying at colleges and universities. They want to make sure that the institution they will be studying at is a safe and health-conscious university or college.
These days, students are not simply looking for a career path that they like. They also take into consideration the future stability of their future jobs. They want to make sure there is a big market full of job opportunities by the time they finish their studies.
Not everyone in the workforce feels self-motivated, satisfied, and content with their jobs. Gen Z wants to make sure that they choose a college degree that will also give them that sense of satisfaction. This way, they can also experience a comfortable work-life balance while chasing after career growth.
One major factor that pushes college students to choose the right career path is to enjoy their desired financial gain. Gen Z wants to settle their debts while living a comfortable life, enjoying a career they love, and paying for their expenses. They don’t want to waste their time pursuing a degree that won’t even allow them to enjoy life and can’t pay for their plans.
The Effect of the Pandemic on College Students’ Career Paths
The pandemic changed many aspects of our lives. From the way we live to how we make decisions, the COVID-19 crisis made everyone rethink how they live and want to live their future lives. For college students, this made them realize what they want to do in the future.
According to a recent survey, up to 27% of respondents changed their career plans because of the pandemic. About 37% of respondents are still uncertain about their plans. Those who switched careers are inspired to do so after seeing the struggles many industries had to face in a time of crisis.
Many students now value their mental health and plan on continuing to do so by choosing an option they enjoy. Some opted to gain valuable work experience while raking desired qualifications with the help of apprenticeship schemes. They want to enjoy the best of both worlds by seeking the support of the leaders in the field.
The crisis has an undeniable impact on everyone’s lives. When it comes to college students, this made them rethink their career choices. Thanks to the situation, how they choose their college and how they plan their career path drastically changed.