Choosing career paths has becoming difficult for millennials

Students say they feel the pressure of making early career decisions


Reported by Ana Rose Walkey 

Millennials are experiencing increased difficulty in committing themselves to a career path due to fear of failure and unobtainable societal standards according to teachers, counsellors and millennials themselves.

An analysis done by LinkedIn in 2016 showed the number of different jobs millennials are holding in the five years after graduating post-secondary has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, with the average now being 2.85 jobs.

Finding jobs worrying to students

Sharon Tanabe, grade nine counselor and head of the counseling department at Magee Secondary School, said she sees a fear of failure in her students.

“Sometimes kids are scared to go to class because they’re scared that they’re not going to perform, they’re not going to get the mark,” Tanabe said. “They don’t get the mark, they’re not going to get into university, they don’t get into university, they’re not going to get a good job.”

Sylvia Fuller, associate professor of Sociology at UBC with a focus on work and labour, said that societal structures are likely causing career related stress for millennials. Fuller said she sees those doing well in the labour market obtaining more of the rewards while people in the middle or lower class are struggling.

“This idea that you could go and get an undergraduate degree and that that would be a ticket to a middle-class lifestyle is increasingly problematic for students,” she said.

Trials and tribulations

Donna Mae Malinay, a first-year Kinesiology student at Langara College, started off in forestry at UBC after high school, where she experienced stress when thinking of the high entrance mark needed to be accepted into the program.

“I originally wanted to be in Kinesiology, however I did not get accepted, so I decided to accept the opportunity to the forestry program, my second choice,” Malinay said. “I learned very early that forestry was not for me and still had my heart on learning anything kinesiology”

Malinay is happy studying kinesiology at Langara, but still unsure about what job she will get after her program.

“I’m not sure what I want to do exactly or what is available to later on,” she said.


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