The Career Doctor™

Dear Career Doctor:

My son is a senior in high school. He has gotten reasonably good grades, but he doesn't seem to have any strong interests. He has applied to liberal arts schools, and I am afraid that he will just drift through college and not find himself. My older two children were always very involved in activities and self-directed, so I am really confused about how to help my son.

Should I have my son take some of the vocational interest tests you have mentioned? Could this help him find a direction?


Dear J.S.:

Vocational interest tests can certainly help someone young (or old) find the right direction. But unless you think he might want to pursue a career in something like engineering that requires one to start with the proper classes freshman year, I would wait awhile to test him.

Let him sample courses and mature for a year or so. After his first year or after first semester second year, have him tested so he can make an informed choice before choosing a major.

While many liberal arts colleges do not see themselves in the business of training students for jobs, I think all colleges should give kids a vocational interest test to help them choose a major. Too many college students graduate without a clear direction. But as I said, it might be a good idea to let your son mature for a year or so before he takes the test.

The Career Doctor



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