What advice would you give to a high school student about preparing for a specific technical field?
One frequent misconception is that we should try to graduate students who are highly focused in one area and essentially ready for the job market as mini-engineers. I often see a school with computer programming course tracks laid out as "Java 1," "Java 2," and "Java 3," and the student will graduate with that highly-focused mindset as if they are ready for a computer programming job.
The problem is, technical fields usually require you to have a four-year college degree just to be considered for a real job. No matter what courses you take in high school, you are unlikely to be ready for anything other than an internship while you work on that degree. So, what is our goal for your high school experience? We recommend exploring a variety of fields at an introductory level and find what you like the best. Then, you can pursue that degree in college.
For example, since we focus on Computer Science here at CompuScholar, we have courses that introduce students to web design, video game design, and coding with different languages. A student can explore different areas of Computer Science, and if just one "grabs" them, then they may have found their lifelong calling. So, don’t worry about whether or not a particular course or topic will "prepare you for the job market." Just focus on finding out which job market is right for you!
Bonnie Rose Hudson works as the Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Her desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She would love for you to stop by her author’s blog WriteBonnieRose.com for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, and to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.
Chris Yust is a 17-year veteran of the software industry and a father of two homeschooled boys. Chris and his wife, Andrea, are co-authors of CompuScholar’s online computer programming and digital literacy courses for middle and high school students. You can learn more about homeschool computing courses or contact Chris at http://www.compuscholar.com/homeschool.
Copyright 2018, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Augustin de Montesquiou