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This fall close to 2 million students will attend post secondary campuses across Canada. Sad, that a very large percentage will graduate only to find themselves without a sense of direction at the end of a very expensive voyage of discovery. I am not just speaking of just the monetary loss: there is the loss of time and one’s positive self concept to take into account after spending three/ four years pursuing an undergraduate degree that has no destination to follow.

We will have students who enrolled in a program of studies because it sounds easy. Too many do not even take the time/effort to have a clear long term plan where they will be after they graduate.

Most students found the prospect of career planning to be overwhelming when they were in secondary school, They do not even know where to start. The university professors with tenure, secure in their ivory tower positions, will proudly tell their students: "you do not go to university to find a career; you attend university to get an education."

Too many young university students are unsuccessful and absolutely have no clue how to find a clear path to a viable career.

We have to ask why so many post secondary students along with their parents are so unprepared for a life after their post secondary school education comes to an end?

One possible answer is that society’s expectation of a post secondary education tends to be unrealistically high. A degree from a post-secondary college/university is no longer a guarantee of a successful career and lifestyle. An undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Poli Sci, History, Music are not direct career entry programs.

My daughter, Sarah, asked a friend of the family, who was a psychologist at the university: "what she could do with a degree in her favourite subject Philosphy"? He laughed that: "it would give her the chance to sell women’s shoes at the mall".

Parents, post secondary students, it is the start of a whole new year. Please take the time to see why/ where you are in school and more important where your education takes you. Some very unhappy students, frustrated at their education, will wisely choose to be Christmas Graduates; not wanting to have failing marks on their university transcripts. No one waves good bye when you leave school to go home.

I am unhappy that too many high school counsellors do not take the time to council their students in grades 11/12 where they are going in their post secondary education journey. University Liaison personal are encouraged to introduce a positive overview of their campuses. They are not paid to help you discern which program/university is a good fit for you.

I sincerely hope that students/parents have made wise choices and the time in a post secondary education is informative with a destination in mind.

To choose an education and a positive career direction is tantamount to choosing a fulfilling life style for our students.

Len Lesser is an education/ career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com