Advice for parents about the career options for their children

Helping your child research higher education

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A good starting point is for you to help them to pull together all the necessary information. Their careers adviser may be able to furnish them and you with copies of prospectuses or brochures from universities, but the institution's website will also contain a huge amount of information about courses, their content and potential outcome, as well as useful tips and hints about location, social aspects and news.

You should use this opportunity to read up about the things you are most concerned with such as the safety of the university and the surrounding area. This may not be the major concern of your son or daughter at this stage, but at least you will be able to satisfy yourself to an extent that they will be attending somewhere considered safe and secure. 


The most important thing a parent can do is to be continually positive about the whole concept of higher education. Attending university can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding times of your son or daughter's lives, affording them with a whole range of experiences and lifelong friendships that they would not have attained otherwise.


Research Unite

According to a UNITE Student Experience Report, over 90% of undergraduates feel that attending university is worthwhile; while 85%of undergraduates felt that the cost involved in attending was a good investment for their future.

Graduates generally earn more than those who do not attend university over a longer period, so the long term prospects are good even in the face of increased fees.


ResearchSo, offering advice to your children about their future choice of degree course and university is a positive way to assist them in their decision making process - providing it is done in the right way and with the best of intentions and resources. Remember not to base your advice on your own experience of university some years ago. Things have moved on since then to the point where most universities will be unrecognisable to you. On top of that university life itself will have altered totally in terms of the level of responsibilities students have in terms of potentially having to work throughout their entire degree for example, and certainly from a social perspective.


Also, remember not to suggest certain degree courses because you believe they will lead to a specific job. It is relatively simple to check on the progression routes from degree programmes, with most university websites containing relevant information about career paths alongside their degree information.

Also, try to refrain from projecting your own unfulfilled desires onto your offspring or expect them to follow the 'family business' simply because that is what you did. Many students who drop out of university state that they did so because they were on the wrong course in the first place and a number of them suggest that they were trying to make their parents happy with their choice.

Providing advice on the education system can be extremely difficult.

You may feel out of your depth initially and be at a total loss on where to start and just what to say. By following the advice on our website you will at least be armed with the knowledge of not only where to go to answer your questions but also who to speak to, so that the advice you do offer is based on sound, up to date and relevant information.

Careers advice 13-19 year olds: