Guest Entry By: Ken Polovitz | Get Info From UND Aerospace
It appears easy enough:
(1) Begin solidifying your career aspirations (what you want to be when you grow up!) generally in your high school years.
(2) Work hard in school to build a strong academic and social foundation preparing you for the rigors of college
(3) Begin your college search based on many variables but certainly identify those schools that have the major you are seeking to launch your career.
(4) Select a college.
(5) Challenge yourself academically, graduate in your chosen major that prepares you for the career you want get a job that begins a successful career.
If it was only that simple! The steps seem straight forward enough. However, all the variables attached to these steps make for some of the most complex and important decisions a young person will make in a lifetime. I’d like to focus on the first and fifth steps and offers some insights I have have observed from over 30 years of advising prospective and currently enrolled college students seeking a career in aviation. However, regardless of the specific profession, it’s important that students thoroughly explore what it takes to get from step one successfully through step five.
Many students select a career because they think it would be fun, financially rewarding , prestigious or that the job opportunities are good. Certainly, these are good reasons to consider when exploring any career. But once again, these “reasons” need to be thoroughly explored. For example, don’t seek a career in any field simply because the job market in that area is wide open. Students need to analyze all the variables that make up a successful and enjoyable career.
Most careers within the aviation industry are becoming “wide open”. Whether it’s professional flight, air traffic control, management positions, technical opportunities or the newest field of unmanned aircraft systems the need for qualified individuals is opening further each day. Simply choosing a career in aviation or in any field based on “availability” is simply not enough, however.
It’s critical for employment satisfaction upon entering the job market and securing the chosen career that students select a college that, with extremely hard work by both the student and faculty can lay the foundation for success. It’s not always going to be fun. It’s not always going to easy. Students need to realize that they will be challenged academically while in college and even after they graduate and enter their chosen career. Learning and training is continuous. All this needs to be considered even though a career field may be “wide open”.
Prepare yourself for these five “simple steps”. If you follow through with the exploration, analysis and preparation of each one of them, you’ll be successful. If you don’t or just “check off the boxes”, you won’t be—regardless of how open a career field may be.
Best wishes for your success as your encounter all these steps!