Last Saturday, I was with 74 college students of industrial engineering major in a workshop. During the technical meeting a few days prior to it, I interviewed 13 students to learn their reasons for choosing this major.
I was stunned with the answers.
All of them but one chose industrial engineering not because it was the choice they loved and wanted, but due to a psychology test they took when they graduated high school. The result of the test suggested that they were not suitable for their chosen major, the one they loved to pursue. They finally chose engineering because it was more promising, from the perspective of employment, compared to the one they wanted.
I don’t intend to put down tests that were created to guide young people toward a career path. How do you absolutely know, though, the potential of human becomings, especially those who love to explore and expand their interests in a major their hearts desire? How can a test generalize someone’s potential, talents, and gifts simply by judging the answers they give within two hours? Are we teaching our young people to conform with what’s available in life, instead of supporting them to be curious to create, explore, and expand?
“What’s love got to do with a major in college?” Everything. Unless you love it, you won’t create happiness in it, with it, for it. Let’s help our young minds ask quality questions such as, “What would I LOVE in/for my life?” rather than “What does the test say I should do? What do I think I can do?”
Many students are starting college this year. As a parent, mentor, teacher, educator, or someone who cares about young people’s choice in life – what’s your thought on this issue?