The Coronavirus is causing many people a lot of stress. But at the same time, many of us are relying on a range of professionals who were not on our radar before. It is a time of anxiety, but also a time to learn
For example, we are relying more than ever before on statistics compiled by analysts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Statistics amassed by these professionals are being reported widely on the news. How many new cases of the Coronavirus have been reported in the U.S., for example, or in our state, or in our town, or in our school system? That kind of data helps us understand the crisis and stay aware of the risks. And we are newly aware of, and thankful to, the professionals who collect and analyze the information we need. Read more
There are disadvantages to having your children at home during the Coronavirus crisis. They are only taking classes online, cut off from their friends, missing athletic practices, and maybe even falling behind on their preparations to take standardized tests.
But there are advantages too. One is that some students are discovering certain professions for the first time. Most often, they are careers that have suddenly been getting more attention and exposure because of the crisis. Read more
Sometimes it takes a great book to get students to fall in love with a field of study. If you are trying to motivate students to become interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or math – STEM – here are some books that could do the trick. Read more
Artificial Intelligence is generating a lot of buzz these days. Your students may be interested in it, but do they understand what AI really is and how it is used in business, medicine, the military, and other applications? Do they understand basic AI concepts like machine learning, neural networks, and predictive diagnostics?
High school students who are interested in AI could take online courses that are being offered currently by a number of universities. The problem is that those courses tend to be expensive. Read more
The OECD’s Latest PISA Study Finds that Around the World, Reading Skills Are the Biggest Predictor of Smart Career Aspirations
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study tested 600,000 15-year-old students in 79 countries on reading, science and mathematics.
What did the OECD study find? One troubling finding was that during the last 10 years, students’ reading skills have not improved significantly in poorer countries, but only in countries that are increasing their spending on education. Those stronger countries include Canada, China, Estonia, Ireland, Finland and Singapore. Read more
This list from U.S. News provides some insights
What STEM jobs offer the highest pay and the best chances of long-term employment?
“Explore Top Stem Careers,” an article that Susannah Snider and Rebecca Koenig published in U.S. News and World Report on April 22, 2019, offers some suggestions and provides food for thought. In compiling their list of careers, the authors accessed U.S. News’s own best jobs rankings and added data about projected job growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more
There are economic times when students can afford to start college, take two years to explore different majors before selecting one, and then stay in school for a few more years before they graduate and start looking for their first jobs.
But in recessionary economies like the one we may be entering soon, more students want to get their studies done and enter the working world as quickly as possible. Many of them want to spend just a year or two at a community college. Others attend trade schools and jump quickly into the workforce. Read more
When students have been accepted to colleges and have selected the college they will attend, they are focused entirely on their top pick – the college they are committed to and hope to call their home for four years.
The thing is, there is a number-two choice too. It is the college that didn’t quite make the cut. The thinking that differentiated the number-one from the number-two is interesting. While those top two colleges are adjacent on the student’s final list of desirable colleges, there is a vast difference between them. A binary decision has been made; the student will attend just the first choice, and not the second. So in a very real sense, the fact that a school made it into second place on a student’s list has no meaning at all. Because the student will not be going there, that school might just as well have not made the student’s list at all.
Differentiators between Students’ First and Second Choice Colleges
In 2017, Eduventures conducted a survey of more than 90,000 American students. Among other things, the survey explored how students view the differences between their number-one and number-two college choices.
The differences are fascinating.
- Regarding the quality of core academics, 95% of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent; only 78% of those students rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area.
- Regarding the quality of career preparation, 93% of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent; only 80% rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area.
- Regarding the quality of the school’s social environment, 90% of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent; only 75% rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area.
- Regarding the quality of the school’s physical environment, 89% of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent; only 72% rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area.
- Regarding affordability, 61% of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent; only 50% rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area.
What these Findings Mean for College Counselors
The findings imply that students overrate the virtues of their first-choice colleges and underrate the virtues of their second choices. Perhaps that is a natural thing for students to do. After all, they tend to frame their decision as the better choice between two colleges that were, in all likelihood, competitive in many ways.
But since your job as a college counselor is to help students make the wisest college choice they can, it could be helpful to ask students whether they have made a fair and realistic comparison of their first and second-choice colleges in the areas that the Eduventures survey exposed. How do their top two choices really compare in academic quality, career preparation, social and physical environments, and cost? Given those considerations, are your counselees certain they have made the wisest choice between the two?
And what about cost? The survey indicates that students generally see both their first and second-choice schools as expensive. That shows that in the area of cost, students and their families are being realistic. It also explains why many college picks are made after students learn about the financial aid they will receive.
To Learn More about How Students Pick Colleges
We invite all students to explore their career options by participating in our career and college studies. Students who complete the free career test for high school students will receive information on college and career opportunities which match their interests.