It's more common than not to hear of people from your entourage shifting careers or majors mid-year all of a sudden. There isn't a single trigger to point fingers at in such cases.
Many educational establishments fail to accompany their students through a journey of blossoming and enlightenment regarding their professional future. Instead, millions of students end up glued to a desk, obliged to memorize by heart subjects that are of no remote interest to them. To society and your school, you're only smart - and subsequently prone to being successful - if you ace all 15 plus subjects you're taught. This creates a mundane routine that encourages even more the classification of students based on grades.
Another reason for a sudden shift in paths could be a newfound interest in a different domain after having delved in novice experiences; or an imposed change in conditions surrounding the person undergoing the switch.
If we are to examine closer the school aspect, we will find that old curriculums support less the freedom of choice and more the generalization of what a good student should be like.
In our previous article, "Can teenagers build the mindset of an entrepreneur?", we found a common ground among four teenage and young-adult entrepreneurs: School is important but should not be the only main focus of a child's life.
"It's possible that I may not perform well in a particular exam someday, but the kind of exposure and knowledge I'm gaining now will help [...] a lot in life," 14-year-old Aadithyan Rajesh, Founder and CEO of Trinet Solutions, told us then.
Many curriculums still in place today are based on the market need in the time of the industrial revolution (1760-1820/40). With factories requiring engineers, accountants, scientists, architects, and workers, education took this turn as well in a bid to prepare future generations for this line of work.
Centuries later, the market has changed and become more diverse in a way to include people's different talents and interests. However, some education systems have remained idle, further increasing market gaps and unemployment rates.
Enter entrepreneurship and the world of creativity and problem solving.
As countless of pupils go about their school years unbothered, a handful get to experience first-hand the meaning of being different. For this group, fitting in among their classmates grows difficult with time. As everyone is busy preparing for their SATs, this group is anxious about their future. A reason for this is the fact that the constant focus on grades by teachers and parents balloons in the faces of those whose minds are elsewhere. When entrepreneurship workshops or classes are introduced, though, there's a good chance the outliers will shine.
Entrepreneurship isn't limited to a specific socioeconomic background, gender, or grade point average (GPA). All it requires is creativity put into solving problems in the form of hands-on projects. The introduction of such activities in schools has proven beneficial to many young minds who eventually end up adopting practices generally reserved for adults at a much younger age.
So if you ever wonder about the existence of 13-year-old CEOs, check their education background first.
Not every school dropout is a brilliant entrepreneur to-be, and not every C or B student is a low-level white-collar. The categorization based on grades and the followed prejudice for failure hurt the students who are uncertain about their skills all while providing fake promises to top-of-the-class ones.
With entrepreneurship integrated in schools, the sense of teamwork grows as classmates get together to create, design, and build their own product and company. While it's easy to outdo others in a math test, it's almost impossible to pitch a completed startup all on your own.
Entrepreneurship is about creativity, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, risk taking, and communication. When was the last time anyone described a French class with the same words?
The idea isn't to create business schools for young people but to integrate business thinking into outdated curriculums. With balanced practices, the artist, immigrant, those of poor or middle-class backgrounds, and anyone else who might have felt like an underachiever can be in charge of their own future and that of the world.