Does Parental Pressure Play a Role in Career Choice?


Samantha Moilanen

A pile of college information packets and test books.

Samantha Moilanen, Editor

Should every high schooler have his/her whole life planned out by the time he/she turns eighteen? How involved should parents be in making these major life decisions?

During the last few years of high school, students often face an enormous amount of pressure as they wrestle with major life decisions that they are forced to make at a time some would say, is way too early. How can students be expected to know exactly what career or profession they want to pursue for the rest of their lives at such a young age? As a result of this pressure, many parents take it upon themselves to decide what their child’s career should be, and what college they should attend to produce the most successful lives. Furthermore, an article from gulfnews conveys that this pressure to conform to parental expectations influences children predominantly when determining career choice. This leads to the question of whether parents influence in their child’s career choice ultimately produces the best outcome for success?

“I think if the child does not know what they want to do in life, it is okay to voice an opinion. Although, I do not think it is okay for a parent to pressure their child into a certain career if the child is really against it. A person should be able to choose what they love to do in life,” said senior Corinn Rittner.

From a young age, parents begin doing everything they can to ensure their children will be successful throughout their lives. This includes, moving to a good neighborhood, enrolling their children in the best schools, and often retaining high expectations of their children’s grades and academics. According to an article from The New Times, parents should counsel and guide their children when it comes to making a career decision, but in the end, it should be their decision and they should be left to deal with the consequences of their own choices. Some would say this is a harsh way to approach this life-changing decision, but people like the author of The New Times article, Peterson Tumwebaze believe this is the only method in which children can learn how to thrive and gain independence upon the transition out of high school.

“Parents should be able to assist and educate their children about career choices, but they should ultimately be able to decide for themselves,” said junior Lily Shuttlewood.

Samantha Moilanen
Lily Shuttlewood looking at a list of colleges.

Throughout high school, students at Adams and many other schools gain an enormous amount of responsibility for their lives all at once. Suddenly, every decision they make can affect them either positively, or negatively and greatly influence their futures. This responsibility is daunting, and parents can take some of it off their child’s shoulders by being supportive and offering constant advice for topics such as college and even careers, but it is ultimately up to the child. Children need to learn how to gain independence, while also being equipped with the tools to be successful in which parents play a major role.

Parental pressure can greatly influence a child’s career choice, but ultimately, it must be their decision. It can be difficult to handle the many aspects of high school, but as long as parents are there to simply guide students in the right direction without forcing their opinions, they will learn to grow into independence and achieve success later on as a result.