I have taught juniors (11th graders) for almost 14 years now. I make them work so hard that if their brain was a muscle it would burst from their skulls from the workout. I recently read an article entitled "Which College Majors Lead to Unemployment" by David Schepp and as a result I am writing this post. However, he is only stating a truth I have known for a long time.
I often invite professionals to my classroom to share with students the realities of the world outside the bubble that is high school. One of these presenters is always the Navy recruiter who tells students every year about college graduates who have multiple degrees darkening the doors of the recruiting office because the jobs in their "field" are non-existant or that they possess zero job experience. Yes, they join the military. Not to say that the military doesn't offer good jobs (because it does) but apparently this is a common occurrence nationwide.
I became a teacher because that seemed to be the logical choice for me at the time and at that moment in my life I did not know what else I could do with an English degree. I did not realize the myriad of options before me because I was a recent college graduate. Now that I am pushing mid-forty I am too involved with family and raising children and working full time to return to school to do something else. Besides, I love teaching and it has grown on me these past ten years (those first four were hell). I do wish I were paid more (as every teacher should be) because we teachers are makers of something more important than any product, service or device that any other job has to offer. If you want to know what I "make", ask Taylor Mali.
If you are reading this and you are a high school student, my advice to you is to major in a field that has a good job outlook over the next five to ten years. Find a niche industry. Our high school counselor is obtaining a Phd focusing on Common Core Curriculum which in the future (as it is implemented nationwide) will become a very important doctorate indeed.
I have dabbled in writing for most of my life and only in the past six years have I dove headlong into it. I am finding my niche industry right here on the blogosphere and in the people who buy my books and read them. My readers love my books and I don't have any regrets.
I cherish the moments when students come back from college and tell me that they are the only ones in their class who know how to write an essay according to their professor's guidelines. I also love to turn a disruptive, rude and self-centered student around to see the whole wide world that is waiting for them as they cross the stage and move their tassel to the left side of their order board. It is a world waiting for them whether they want it to or not, and it can be a dive into a very cold pool.