Future

What High School Students Don’t See Coming

By Kyle Grappone

There are certain things about high school I remember vividly. Wasting time with my friends, talking to girls, and being the class clown that made everyone laugh. What I don’t remember is being serious, studying hard, or thinking about my life 5-10 years down the line. I didn’t do those things because I didn’t realize that I was supposed to. When you’re in high school, the last thing you think about is being an adult or getting a real job. This is one of the reasons why we have the problems we have today when it comes to thinking about our future.

After working for nearly ten years in the real world, I noticed two distributing trends. One, most of the people I knew and worked with disliked their jobs. Two would be the fact that hating your job was accepted as normal. How is it that so many people disliked not only their jobs but the type of person they had become? After extensive research, I realized that part of the reason this is happening is that this aspect of life is something high school and college students don’t see coming.

This is the motivation and inspiration for my new book To The Next Step. This book is designed to be an instruction manual for students like yourself to get the most out of your education and inspire you to think differently about your future. My goal is to help you avoid becoming one of those adults that have unfulfilled careers and unsatisfied lives.

One of the main messages of my book is that we should get rid of the age-old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. I want to eliminate this question because it is fundamentally flawed. How can students like yourself choose what you want to become when you probably don’t even understand the options and choices that are open to you? We need to change this question. You need to start asking yourself, “What type of person do I want to become?”. When you begin thinking about this question, the entire game changes. You will no longer be handcuffed to one occupation but instead opened to the idea of the kind of impact you want to make in the world. You have the power to choose if you’re going to be the type of person who heals, helps, protects, or educates. Now you can begin building this type of person in your mind and make sure that every decision you make enables you to become that person.

The first step you as a high school student can take in becoming the person you want to be is understanding what opportunities you need to take advantage of starting today. You think you want to be the type of person who entertains people, then you should begin networking with the head of the drama department or inquiring about participating in school plays and musical productions. If you find joy in helping people, you should volunteer your time at a nursing home, charity, or other local organizations that benefit the people in your community. This will give you a better understanding of what that type of work is like and will be much more rewarding than working at a local supermarket or a movie theatre.

Another essential step in this journey is to begin determining what you want to get out of your college education. This does not mean choosing a major, but rather making a list of possible majors and letting that narrow down your search. If you know you want to be someone who educates, you should research colleges known for their educational programs. It is also essential to understand the loans you will have to take out and how much you will have to pay back after college. Certain schools may be more expensive, but that does not mean they have better programs. Your goal should not be to go to a big name school, but instead, gain a valuable education at a price you can afford.

Topics such as navigating high school, applying to college, the college experience, life in the real world, and so much more will be addressed in my book. It is truly meant to be a guidebook to navigate students toward becoming the people they want to be and building a life that they love. Please check out the official campaign page and consider placing a pre-order today.

Professions of the Future

By Thomas Broderick

When I was a teenager, the career I have now did not exist. Sure, there were freelancers back in the early 2000s, but the idea of any one of them solely using the Internet to find and complete work was but a mere pipe dream. Today, millions of digital nomads around the world make their livings working remotely for one or more companies.

I’m telling you all of this to make an important point: as a teenager, it’s impossible to know what new careers will exist in the future. However, there are some trends that, if they continue, will significantly impact the future of work. In this article, we’ll examine the shape of things to come.

Mobility on the Rise

My dad and granddad both spent their entire careers in offices. Even in the early 1980s, when my dad’s office received its first desktop computers, no one had any idea what this technology would mean for the future of work or the new careers it would create.

Today, millions of workers (including yours truly) don’t ‘go to work’ in the traditional sense. As companies reexamine their needs over the coming years, they may decide to continue shrinking their physical offices and replace them with digital ones. For you, that means less time commuting, more flexibility, and perhaps a better work/life balance.

But everything has a trade-off.

More Workers ‘On Their Own’

 Let’s say that in the next 10 years, millions of more workers become mobile, and you, a recent college graduate, want to take this career route. Unless things change, you will discover that you are responsible for many things that your parents and grandparents did not have to worry about, even if you work as a full-time employee for a single company. In other words, you, the worker, will have to plan your retirement and obtain your health insurance. When it comes to retirement, you can start a retirement account as young as 18. Most IRAs (Roth and Regular) require a minimum $1,000 initial deposit, but then you can add as much or as little you want each year up to the $5,500/year cap.

Considering how much the health insurance field has changed in the last 10 years, I’m not going to make any predictions for the next 10. However, since we’re on the topic of health…

Healthcare Jobs Are on the Rise

 When it comes to the ‘professions of the future that currently exist’ category of careers, look no further than the healthcare industry. Now, I’m not saying that everyone reading this article should earn their M.D.s. However, as America ages, demand for the following jobs should skyrocket in the coming years:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Pharmacist

So, if you like the sciences, helping others, and the prospect of a stable, long-term career, look no further than healthcare.

What About Tech?

Nowhere is the nature of work changing more than technology careers. It seems that every day you hear a story where someone makes (or loses) a considerable fortune on the latest Silicon Valley idea. As I’m a relative outsider in the tech world, let’s consult an expert in the field.

*Opens up childhood toy box.*

“Let’s see. Pogs…furbies…gak…here it is! Magic 8-Ball, will the technology industry be as lucrative in 10 years as it is today?”

*shake shake shake*

Don’t count on it.

 *shake shake shake*

 My reply is no

That’s not good. Hmmm…

First of all, I don’t think that the Magic 8-Ball is saying that you shouldn’t go into a technology-related career. If that’s your passion, go for it. However, let me relate a story that might put the Magic 8-Ball’s replies in perspective.

While listening to the radio last week, I heard a story about a Palestinian entrepreneur who had created an IT company to give jobs to Palestinian programmers. Here was the gist of his message: “My programmers are more talented than those in the U.S. or India. U.S. programmers cost $50-$100/hour. Indian programmers cost $25/hour. My programmers cost $15/hour.”

Let’s say that his company succeeds, and in its wake, a thousand more pop up in economically depressed countries. If that happens, salaries for many American IT professionals could plummet in the next 10-15 years.

In other words, technology careers may not be the pot of gold you’ve been led to believe. The same statement may apply to the work environment, too.  😉

But that’s just my educated guess, and you know what, technological advances create new, in-demand careers all the time. But always do your research before committing to an IT career path. (Honestly, this is good advice for any student no matter their academic interests.)

Final Thoughts

“Magic 8-Ball, is it possible that the professions of the future are completely different than what we’ve looked at in this article?”

*shake shake shake*

Yes – definitely.

“So, when today’s high school students enter college, should they develop a flexible skill set to be prepared for the changing nature of work and new job opportunities?”

*shake shake shake*

Without a doubt.

The Magic 8-Ball has spoken. See you later.

4 Mistakes to Avoid During the College Selection Process

By Matt Wujciak

You’re a Die-hard Fan

Everyone has their favorite college football or basketball program. But picking a school because you like their sports teams or because your parents went there isn’t always in your best long term interest.

After all, your college experience is about you, more specifically about what you learn that will make you a better, smarter, and happier person. Although school comradery is important, you’re not there to spend your college career in the cheering section.

 

They Specialize in your Favorite Subject:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of students in the United States end up changing their major at least once. On average, college students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career. No one is telling you not to follow your passion or desired career path.

However, it is important to note that you will most likely be changing your major throughout your college career. That’s why most schools give you at least a year or two before choosing a major is required.

To put things into perspective for you, I once knew a kid who chose his school based on what he thought he wanted to major in. He loved Economics in high school and wanted to attend a college that had the best Econ program that he could get into.

Two years in and he realized that this was nothing like the experience he was anticipating. He decided to change his major from Econ to a less strenuous business concentration such as Marketing or Entrepreneurship.

At that point, he began wishing he hadn’t chosen the best Economics school that he could find, but perhaps the best general business school… a school with a wider variety of strengths that he could have explored before picking his concentration.

 

Being a Follower

Whatever you do, do not follow a friend or significant other to the college of their choice. This piece of advice is very simply, yet extremely important. Remember that college is one of the most critical and momentous times of your life. Try to make the decision that is best for you and your future, not your temporary demands or desires.

Although following a friend might seem like a good idea at the time, there will come a point in your relationship where you are presented with a crossroad. Either that relationship will end which means maybe this decision was in everyone’s best interest, or become stronger, overcoming distance, as well as time.

 

Temptation of Partying

Now this potential mistake might seem obvious to avoid, but it can be a tough subconscious concept for many eager students to grasp, especially when you are looking forward to moving away from Mom and Dad and into the college environment for the first time. Actively remind yourself what your end goal is.

As you begin to make your final decision on selecting your college, remember the increase in responsibilities and decisions that you will face. Don’t compensate your future for the short term happiness that a big warm party school might provide, especially in one of the most pivotal points of your life. Because at the end of the day, these are only four years, but they’ll have an impact on each one to come. How are you going to use them?

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