Young people choose to study: some for their future, others for their parents’ dreams

According to the specialist, it is no less important to choose a field of study that interests, inspires and encourages full development, and not just ensures future income.

Education is more important for parents and better learners

A frequent graduate dreams of studying at the university: according to the data of the Government’s Center for Strategic Analysis (STRATA), in 2019, 35.6 per cent chose to study at the university. 20.6 per cent of the graduates who graduated in that year. However, compared to 2018, 5.8% received basic education. fewer young people. Another trend is worrying. STRATA 2019 A survey of students and parents conducted in the spring of 2006 revealed that university education raises positive associations more for parents than for prospective students – 53% answered this question in the affirmative. of the surveyed parents, 39 percent. tenths and 42 percent. twelve.

“The fact that the number of students is decreasing every year does not necessarily mean that education is underestimated. More so, the desire of today’s young people to “cool off” when traveling or working so that they can later choose the path of their future profession, although this decision often puts a lot of pressure on their environment. True, those who choose not to take a break are under no less pressure. While various studies and my many years of experience working with young people show that parents are an authority to their current youth and that their advice is more important than it was in the previous generation, it does not always come in handy.

“What do you want to grow up with” sounds the same way in childhood, but in adolescence, the question often takes on the spice of passive aggression and a different meaning – “We know what you’re going to grow up with.” Perhaps, because of the continuation of the professional dynasty, perhaps because of the unfulfilled ambitions of the parents or the desire to secure the child’s future, for the child to choose a high-paying profession. And it doesn’t matter if a teenager pushed into medical or law studies draws better than solves the problems of others. I always advise my parents – support your child’s enthusiasm and his, not your own, ambitions – it will pay off in the future, ”says E.Kesylienė, an expert in international studies.

Her words are confirmed by the data of the above-mentioned survey – more than half of the surveyed students in grades 10-12 say that it is important for them to acquire higher education, but one in seven does not emphasize the need for higher education. However, parents of students who participated in the survey consider higher education to be more important – 69 percent. it is important for parents that their child has a higher education.

The assessment of higher education also differs according to academic achievements – it is more important for the best students to have a higher education than for those with lower academic achievements (75% of top twelve students have higher education, with students with lower grades (average 7 points or less)). is 31%). The importance of higher education is also more emphasized by students from more affluent families or those whose at least one parent has a higher education.

Is the university not a source of knowledge and future income?

“Another surprising result of this survey is the associations raised by university education and university studies. In particular, attendance at lectures, knowledge and a good salary. Only 12 percent. tenths and 13 percent. The first thought of twelve-year-olds that shot in the head about the university was that they would have to attend lectures there, so it is not surprising that only 4% tenths and 6 percent. the University of the Twelve is associated with the knowledge gained.

Photo from personal archive / Eglė Kesylienė

Even parents think similarly – the influence of the university on the assimilation of information and knowledge is acknowledged by only one in ten. And even the fact that prospective students do not plan to attend lectures at the university does not encourage to link this great period of youth to student life – only 2%. students and 1 percent. parent university is associated with a good time. It is a pity, because in my opinion, bachelor’s and later master’s studies are the most interesting academic stage in a young person’s life, full of new experiences and discoveries. It is only important to appreciate that the concept of “good times” must be understood more than just fun parties with classmates. We talk about the diversity of students’ extracurricular activities, new hobbies, sports, socially responsible activities, student communities, associations, participation in conferences, organizing and reading presentations, expeditions, research activities, etc., ”says E. Kesylienė, Head of AMES Education .

According to her, by attending open days organized by universities, by becoming students of different universities for one day, participating in specialized international camps (eg medical, law, economics, IT camps for students aged 14-18), young people gain an understanding of how rich and interesting science will be. at a deliberately chosen university.

According to the STRATA survey, Lithuanian students associate their studies at the university with prestige the most, because, according to them, the best and most talented students enter the university. It is true that a higher education diploma will guarantee a good salary in the future, only 8 percent think. students and parents interviewed.

When asked to name a specific amount of the average salary, the twelfths indicated that they wanted to earn EUR 1292 “in their hands” after graduation, and the tenths indicated a slightly higher salary – an average of EUR 1353. The need for a salary varies depending on the planned education: a maximum of € 2,735 on average would be an acceptable amount for those planning to obtain a doctorate, 49%. less – EUR 1394 for those planning to obtain a master’s degree and EUR 1204 for a bachelor’s degree. Twelfth-graders who do not plan to pursue higher than upper secondary education would expect a € 1,000 reward “in their hands” in the first year after leaving school.

When asked to name a specific amount of the average salary, the twelfths indicated that they wanted to earn € 1,292 “in their hands” after graduation.

University studies – the choice of young people or their parents?

According to E.Kesylienė, when planning the future of her children and choosing where to study them, it is important not to bend the stick – a certain boundary must be drawn between the desire to “press” and free self-determination. Both sides should talk, discuss, evaluate the pros and cons of one solution or another. If a young person does not know what they want to do in life after leaving school, parental advice becomes important but should not be categorical.

According to her, those who apply to AMES for advice on future studies can be divided into three categories: those who are firmly in need of a counselor for the final confirmation of their ability to enter a particular profession; those who are hesitant between several choices (for these study specialists usually recommend to “shadow” the desired professions – for example, to perform unpaid internships according to the desired field of activity or to participate in specialized summer camps); and those who do not know what they want and what could be.

In this case, AMES Education specialists offer a simple solution – to choose to study by rejecting, because the most important thing is what the young person is interested in, what would inspire them to take an interest in the field and improve, and not the expected salary after graduation. E.Kesylienė also suggests a possible solution for the undecided – in this case it is worth considering the philosophy of liberal arts and science studies in North America (liberal arts studies), which allows prospective students to enroll in a university or college of their choice without naming a faculty, program, or specialty. Students admitted to the university by studying and choosing study subjects form a specialty that will be recorded in their diplomas upon completion of four years of study. Such freedom in choosing lectures creates the conditions for acquiring a wide university education and makes studies a very interesting process of self-education and cognition.

“Our practice at AMES shows that only about 30 percent. graduates are firmly aware of what they would like to study and do in their lives, while others usually choose what their friends have chosen or what their parents insist. I often hear them say, “Nothing like that, if you don’t like where I go – I will always be able to drop out after a few courses. It’s important to join somewhere. ” Of course, such a path is possible, but I always advise, if possible, to take a good look at your own abilities and desires before taking steps so that you don’t have to be disappointed and lose a couple of years later.

Or worse, to lose a specialty that a person simply cannot tolerate. In addition, the wrong choice not only wastes time but also money – even if the cost of studying is small, the cost of living can be significant. Study consultants are there to help shape the young person’s study portfolio as comprehensive and accurate as possible and to individualize it according to specific needs and areas of interest, ”advises study expert E. Kesylienė.

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