by Ryan Eland, degreestory.com
“I Like People”
I recently talked with a bright, energetic college senior about her future. She wants to become a school counselor after she graduates. I asked her why and she replied, “because I like people.”
That was it. The extent of her knowledge of student counseling was a vague understanding that she would work with people. Four years at a private, highly regarded university and this was her answer.
Are young adults capable of making these types of decisions at this age? Do they have the necessary wisdom and experience to choose correctly? Can they cut through the storm of sudden freedom, responsibility and self-discovery to choose a degree that fits?
I think so. The problem is not one of maturity. It’s a problem of knowledge and understanding. They are not adequately equipped. As this New York Times article illustrates, students are increasingly putting off this decision. It feels too risky.
At this age, they don’t understand how careers can turn, launch and sputter to a halt. They don’t comprehend the lateral career move and are often blind to the fact that it is okay to take a risk, fail and start over.
These bright and energetic students deserve to know. Actually, they need to know. They need access to the realities of professional life.
The Power Of The Sharing Economy
Ten years ago, DegreeStory.com would not have been possible. Wikipedia had yet to demonstrate the power of regular folks contributing to the same goal. Ideas and phrases like ‘crowdsource’, ‘peer-to-peer’ and ‘sharing economy’ meant nothing.
In 2014, however, they are ubiquitous. Companies like Airbnb, RelayRides and SnapGoods are skyrocketing. In fact, Rachel Botsman, in her book What’s Mine is Yours estimates that the peer-to-peer rental market alone is worth more than $25 billion.
There are many reasons for the explosion of peer-to-peer services, but one reason may stand above the rest–it’s trust. Simply put, people trust their peers more than the experts who are often perceived to carry an agenda.
Peer-to-Peer Career Reviews
A website dedicated to degree choice and professional life is not revolutionary. There are thousands of articles by ‘experts,’ often journalists and professional writers, about the benefits and pitfalls of colleges, degrees and careers.
Furthermore, according to this analysis, Jobs & Education rank 4th for the amount of money that companies in that field spend for advertising on Google. This means that people are turning to the Internet in unprecedented numbers to research careers and degrees.
Unfortunately, the prominent content that is written by the ‘experts’ is seldom truly helpful. It is often vague, clichéd and written with the end goal of search engine ranking.
At DegreeStory.com, we redefine ‘expert.’ The real experts are the ones who are working in their respective careers. These are the people that can bring clarity to the realities of day-to-day life. They alone can speak lucidly about motivations, disappointments, advancement, salary and more. They have a story to tell and it is valuable.
It’s valuable to people like the young girl who is basing her career decision on the fact that she ‘likes people.’ The true power if Degreestory.com lies not in these individual stories, however. It lies in the thousands of individual stories that, when taken as a whole, combine to paint an accurate portrait of a career path.
We bring these stories to the light and make them easy to find. We achieve this by inviting career professionals to share their experiences. We then categorize these stories and make them searchable.
Our mission is to give power to that young woman so she can make a decision based on more than vague notions and hearsay.
Would you like to contribute?
As an educator, your experience is invaluable. Would you consider joining us in our mission? Thousands of potential educators need to hear your stories. They need to know, first hand, what it is really like to be in education.
Remember, your experience is valuable. Help that future teacher make a decision based on something more than the notion that, you know, ‘he likes kids.’
Career Readiness Is Not Just A Content Thing; image attribution flickr user vancouverfilmschool