As students get closer and closer to entering society as fully fledged members, the question of what they will do throughout their lives quickly becomes of the utmost importance. Although this question might be hard to answer for some, many students have already decided what they want to dedicate their lives to, and want to get a taste of the career that they want to pursue. Despite offering some specialized courses, Berkeley High School lacks more specific classes that feed directly into topics that students are interested in. Adding these specialized classes will provide students with a head start to their future careers, and will set them up for success.
Adding emphasis on a certain subject throughout high school helps strengthen college applications, as colleges would see that a student follows a common theme, providing students with the opportunity to amplify their passion. Additionally, this gives colleges the impression that the student is well prepared for the major they choose. This extra specialization will provide BHS students with the opportunity to stand out from other applicants, and will make colleges see the student as a much more credible and worthy candidate.
If a student knows what overall field they are interested in, such as English or STEM, but don’t know what subtopic they want to pursue, the addition of specialized classes would let them try out several subfields and decide which one they want to commit to based on which classes fit them best. Career-specialized classes also provide students with an excellent opportunity to get some real experience in their chosen field of focus.
If BHS was to add specialized classes, they would not only benefit students who have already solidified their future career plans, but will also provide students who haven’t decided what they want to pursue in the future with an opportunity to discover their passion. If more specific classes are offered to students, then students will have more chances to try out several topics that they are interested in, and narrow it down from there. For example, if a student was interested in pursuing electrical engineering or linguistics, they would be able to take classes for both throughout high school, which will provide them with a basis on the topics. This would also help the student to decide which area of study they want to focus on in the future.
This type of program has already been adopted by several countries around the world, such as France, Denmark, and Japan, all of which consistently rank at the top of the list of the best education programs in the world. Although these programs differ slightly, they all allow students to follow specific pathways early on. This has helped make these countries’ educational programs front runners, which has in turn made these countries some of the most developed in the world, according to the United Nations Human Development Reports.
There are, however, some negative outcomes. This addition could cause students who don’t know what careers they are interested in to fall behind. If some students have already made up their minds about their future careers prior to high school, and some haven’t, the ones that have yet to decide could fall behind their peers who are already set on a career. These students may spend their time trying out many different topics, which could cause them to fall behind others attempting to pursue similar subjects. Despite this population of students who may fall behind, this will have a minimal effect, as they will still be able to specialize in what they hope to work in eventually, which will greatly aid their futures.
The ability to choose a focus topic earlier, would greatly benefit BHS students. This extra specialization will aid students in deciding what they want to focus on and pursue in their future careers, allow students to get a head start on learning more about their focus topics, and will provide them with extra support for the major decision of what they want to pursue in the future. The addition of these classes will have a direct and positive impact on the BHS student body, and if BHS was to implement this, students’ futures would greatly benefit.