College Majors: Whose Decision Is It?

I was reading a wonderful blog post today at The College Solution. Lynn was discussing the rush of students wanting to major in Engineering ( a very good field for the right student). She mentioned in many cases it is actually the parents who are wanting the student to major in Engineering. I have found this to be true in my own practice as well. Over the past couple of years, I have noticed parents becoming much more directive about their children's college major. It makes sense with the recession and the unemployment rate. However, I'm not convinced this movement is in the best interest of the student. One of the developmental milestones for adolescents and young adults is discovering who they are and what gifts they have to share with the world. This is rarely a linear path, but one with many turns and twists. My hunch is that our current college students need the opportunity to navigate this path through self discovery and by utilizing their unique skills and passions. Clearly, parents are important guides and sounding boards, but we need to allow our children to find their career path just as many of us have discovered our own careers.