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Make smart educational choices rather than economical ones

Written by: Dr. Prasanna Sivanandam Asst. Director - ITM Chennai

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela

The words of Nelson Mandela reflect what is close to our heart. Educational institutions are gateways to the future of every young individual who want to make it. Anyone who has a passion for education and a passion to serve in education, a genuine and profound interest in the development and empowerment of young people can make a difference.

Our youth is our future. Helping them to understand themselves, appreciate and acknowledge their wants and needs, guiding them how to determine their route to a successful and above all, happy career and life, is our Mission!

It is important to remember that one should be careful of every smart choice you make for your education, the best results come from making those smart choices regularly. That doesn't mean you always have to make smart choices, just that the more you make, the more likely you are to achieve your goals. That's why it's so important to remember your long-term goals!.

We live in difficult economic times filled with challenging financial trade-offs. There is no guarantee with regard to any investment, but the evidence on education is clear: The more education you obtain, the better off your job prospects and future earnings.

Make smart educational choices

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. - Albert Einstein

The only thing growing faster than the sticker price on a college education may be the debate around the value of one-particularly, if a student majors in something with no obvious pathway to a decent job. The question of what a student should major in and what sort of return on investment it can generate is becoming an increasingly important question, as families struggle to pay for school and graduates shoulder growing college debt. It takes much more than a major to get a great education.

Rather, students should look for a college or university that has organized its educational program-curriculum and co-curriculum alike-to help students build big-picture knowledge of the world around them; develop high-level skills they will need for careers, civil society and their own lives; acquire real-world practice and experience; and above all, to find their own sense of purpose and vocation in the largest sense of that term.

With all that said, every student also needs practical guidance in connecting their studies with career choices and in knowing the range of likely salaries for possible careers. You would want to read our article on how to prepare your child to make smart career choices.

It's not so much choosing a major, as thinking through your possible career choices and pathways. Majors themselves are a small part of students and families in today's economy fully understand that accessing postsecondary education or training is critical to their economic future (historic levels of access attest to that), but failure to question and assess the value proposition of a college and major is no longer tenable for middle-class and low-income families.

Assessing the return on investment of colleges and majors has never been more important to the growth of our economy and the economic well-being of our graduates. As the economic value of education increases, we will need to remember that education, especially higher education, is about more than just rupees.

Make smart educational choices

It may cost you more to follow a path where faculty will work with you to help you hone high-level skills. But jobs that demand those high-level skills also are usually the ones that pay the most. The initial investment in a high-quality education does, for most graduates, pay off over time. There are plenty of underemployed people in any field - lawyers, accountants, engineers. Read our article providing interesting information on the 5 new career choices for science graduates.

Those trained in a skill in college will suffer when their chosen industry pivots away from them. Those who learned to think can pivot. There is no job that always pays better than another. No specific major is the key to either career or life success. Your salary is shaped by many different factors including your skill set, earlier companies and positions, internships, education, and of course location.

When you graduate from college, it is no more theory; it is real life with so many markers that define your salary. One reason we haven't made much progress academically over the past years is because it hasn't been economically crucial for Indian kids to master sophisticated problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in order to survive.

There's a lag for cultures to catch up with economic realities, and right now we're living in that lag, So kids aren't growing up with the kind of skills or grit to make it in the global economy. We want schools for our children that mirror our own experience, or what we thought we wanted. That severely limits our ability to think creatively of a different kind of education. You might want to read some interesting tips that will help you make smart career choices.

We need a major overhaul not only in the education system but also in the mindset of parents who want good education for their children. If you are like most college students, you should gain the knowledge and skills that will qualify you for a well-paying job, for an interesting career, or for graduate study.

A student may also want to explore new horizons with the goal of becoming a more thoughtful person. Whatever the expectations, you expect your college or university to help you reach those goals. Using your opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to dealing with a problem-practical or academic or both-will show you just how far you have come intellectually and as a budding professional over the course of your academic career.

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions.
- Anthony Jay

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