The overwhelming majority of students entering high school haven't a clue as to what career path they should pursue for the rest of their lives. Although this is understandable, my experience has been that this decision, in part, is left to them.
As a high school and college instructor, I have had the opportunity to teach some students through most of their educational experience. In making career choices, the difference in ideological perspective between a freshman in high school and a senior in college is the difference between black and white.
Many students entering high school are impressed by exciting new courses offered by various programs within a school. Often parents help them select a "major" contingent on what currently interests their child. Although seemingly logical, this may not be the best criterion from which to determine a career path. Few students carry through by obtaining a college degree in their initially-chosen field.
This is not to suggest children should be enrolled in courses for which they have no aptitude or liking. I am suggesting, however, that a solid high school education is a well-rounded one -- one that exposes children to not only the "three R's" but a good sampling of technical careers.
The best secondary education is one that prepares students for appropriate career choices for college entrance. Forcing a high school student to focus on a narrow set of elective-type courses only prohibits exposure to a fuller array of possible career paths. High schools should rid themselves of this inappropriate format and eliminate selecting a major at this juncture.
Much better for the student, and without any increase in cost to the school system, would be a core of technically oriented courses designed to expose students to several disciplines. Students would enjoy a sampling of possible careers such as electrical, computer science, architectural design and mechanical engineering, and could more effectively select a college career that suits their aptitudes and desires.
JOHN DICORSO West Seneca