The Fallacy of Passion and Success as Defined by the High School Curriculum

For the past decades, students have been told to get an education at a four-year university to pursue what they love learning. According to high school principals and counselors, studying something students are passionate about will drive them to excel in what they choose to do in the future. Of course, with the right mindset and dedication, it is possible to be successful. However, what if someone’s passion is not enough to become a marketable skill in the workforce?

Jeb Bush on Automation

According to Fox News, Jeb Bush stated that “people “should…demand changes to ‘antiquated’ education systems that aren’t preparing students to be competitive in the job market…” Moreover, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that up to 38% of jobs will be replaced by automation technology as early as the 2030s.

Consequences of following Passion

Let’s be realistic. The modern day education system is not tailored to prepare students in planning their future for the technology-driven job market. Evidently students must be equipped to face the changes in job availability by obtaining practical skills that will always be useful. It is an imminent threat to have a large pool of passionate, but unskilled people in society, as they will find it harder to contribute to the community. Today, around 5.8 million jobs are left unfilled as businesses struggle to find employees with the right skill set according to Mike Rowe for Prager University. Rowe explains that being passionate does not translate to being good at one’s field of study. Yes, everyone can grow up to be whatever they want to be in life, but the chances of becoming, for instance, a renowned dance theorist are quite slim. In an attempt to fulfill one’s passion by majoring in history, gender studies, and sociology, students risk other opportunities to find success and financial stability.

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Basically, the current curriculum is not making students aware of how important it is to develop skills that will be profitable. And by profit, I mean skills that are indispensable for society such as welding, engineering, and even plumbing. The point is this–teachers need to be preparing students for not only college but the competitive job market of today and not pander to the usual “major in what you love” jargon. In good conscience, we cannot lie to our students and defraud our community by feeding them a false narrative that their desired major will be profitable. Everyone should find happiness and success in their own measure, but everyone should have a job that will lead to their prosperity.

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