One of the serious dilemmas that parents and students face as they approach the end of their high school years or their senior secondary years – that is Grades 11 and 12 – is what should their child do after their schooling is done? What should guide their thinking? Almost all of them are guided by what can be loosely termed as the market. That is, they try to gauge what is the nature of the demand for jobs in the current scenario. If they see that many people are taking up jobs in finance, they will want their children to do commerce and if they find that information technology is the flavour of the day, they will want their children to take up some form of engineering with a focus on computer studies. Medicine has always been an all-time favourite in India, although the percentage of students opting for this option is on the decline.
Even a conversation with Grade 9 students reveals that they find it difficult to pursue their passion, and even if they have identified one, they fail to pursue it because their parents want them `to be settled’. It is still the parents who take a call over a particular line of academic pursuit in college that will help them settle, just as it has helped them to settle down. Unfortunately, this settled logic has become quite unsettling in this day and age and the jobs that their parents are doing at present, will cease to exist as their children grow up. This is not to say that the service or the good that they provide will not have demand any longer but that the manner in which it will be provided will change. Empowered and highly specialized robots will perform intricate surgeries with guaranteed success. What then will a doctor do? This highlights the fact that the very definition and nature of jobs that our children will take up when they grow will evolve from the present day.
So where does a poor parent, and the confused student go from here? Recognizing this, the best international schools offering the IGCSE or IB Diploma tend to focus on developing a set of skills and attitudes that will help the students make up their mind about what they would like to pursue higher studies and career options. So if in the course of your school education you have developed the skills to research and analysis you will be equipped in taking up a variety of jobs. Similarly, if your thinking and communication skills are enhanced then you are better equipped to handle change.
A good international education will do precisely this- give your child a couple more years to develop these skills and be ready for the challenges of life.