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majors/ careers for my son

momknowsbest3momknowsbest3 Posts: 144Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
Now that oldest is taken care of, on to my middle child. He is a 10th grader. He is gifted in writing, history and English. He is obsessed with political science. That said, he HATED his AP Government class in 9th grade. ( Part of it was the class. He is homeschooled, so it was online. He much prefers live teachers. He has been thriving taking dual credit at the local college.) He had the electoral college numbers memorized for the states and was having fun playing with the numbers. He is good with children, but doesn't think he is. He says he would kill some of them as a teacher because of the way they behave. Besides, teachers don't make enough..

He doesn't have a clue what he wants to do.. I can't tell you test scores other than he topped out on the THEA in reading in 8th grade and writing so he could take his community college classes. He just aced the accuplacer to take college algebra this spring. He HATES math; although after interacting with some of his friends at youth group has discovered he wasn't as bad at it as he thought he was. ( It is hard when your older brother is gifted in that area, so you feel stupid in comparison.) He just took the PSAT for practice, but I don't know what his scores are.

He is going to the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg this summer. I think he might also do the Patriot academy as well. So far, other than piano those are his only extra curriculars.

Any thoughts?
Post edited by momknowsbest3 on
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Replies to: majors/ careers for my son

  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,432Registered User Senior Member
    College in the Washington, DC area sounds like a good idea, with multiple internships to give him an idea of what kinds of opportunities are available in the federal government and the surrounding world of lobbyists, nonprofits, contractors, etc.

    It is easier to get part-time internships in DC during the school year than to get full-time ones during the summer, when you're competing with students from all over the country.

    If Georgetown, GW, and American U are too expensive, consider the University of Maryland at College Park. It's only a Metro (subway) ride from DC, and with a carefully planned class schedule, part-time internships in DC should still be possible.
  • EPTREPTR Posts: 3,806Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^
    Agree. My D loves it there.
  • compmomcompmom Posts: 4,452Registered User Senior Member
    Since he is taking college classes, will he leave "high school' studies and enter college early in terms of age? Normally, I think 10th grade is too soon to worry too much about college, or about finalizing interests at all. In fact, the first two years of college are often a time for exploration.

    I think it's great that he doesn't know what he wants to do, and that he has multiple areas of strength and interest. He doesn't need to narrow his focus to a major for 4 more years, at least, in most instances (engineering, nursing, music, some other areas do require some idea of major from the get-go).

    Otherwise, and maybe not until next year, he can visit schools of varying sizes, locations, selectivities and "vibes" and choose a few to apply to. He can start out undecided: many do.
  • mathmommathmom Posts: 23,687Registered User Senior Member
    If he's homeschooled he's got some flexibility - why not look for some ways to volunteer now and see what sorts of things he likes to do? I went to a high school that had no classes on Wednesdays, we all had various experiences - I learned a lot about both the things I liked to do and what I didn't. Among other experiences I worked at a political magazine and spent time in a Senator's office on Capitol Hill. Both my boys helped out in various capacities at the senior center. Our library is involved in a number of projects that they get high school students involved in, including gathering oral histories of local seniors.
  • intparentintparent Posts: 13,965Registered User Senior Member
    He might like Dickinson. My D graduated last spring with a double Political Science & Public Policy major, and has a "real job" (with benefits!) in DC now. It is a couple hours from DC, in Carlisle, PA. She had a semester internship in DC at the State Department, a summer internship on the Hill, and was able to do a part time internship at the Army War College in Carlisle during the school year. Lots of opportunities to work on campaigns there, too, with the College club for her party of choice. She also studied abroad for a semester at an unusual location (their study abroad program is quite flexible and will work with kids to do almost anything). Dickinson also has some nice merit scholarships if his stats are good.

    There are a ton of different types of careers in DC. I would not worry that he did not like AP Government -- he will absorb what he needs by osmosis just by being in th DC environment, and many of the jobs just aren't "like" AP Government studies. Especially if he likes politics in general, it would be a good fit.

    He probably should take statistics for math (pretty useful in the field), other than that he does not need Calc, etc.
  • momknowsbest3momknowsbest3 Posts: 144Registered User Junior Member
    Since he is taking college classes, will he leave "high school' studies and enter college early in terms of age?


    He won't leave early; however, at the end of this year alone he will have 21 credits ( 3 from AP gov and 19 from the cc. He will take at least 3 classes each semester for the next two years, so that means when he graduates he will have another 36 hours for a total of 55 hours. So most of his basics will be done before he ever goes to college. Therefore, he will need to have an idea of what he wants to do by the time he graduates.
  • momknowsbest3momknowsbest3 Posts: 144Registered User Junior Member
    If he's homeschooled he's got some flexibility - why not look for some ways to volunteer now and see what sorts of things he likes to do?


    Believe me, I've tried. I can't get him to want to do anything. I've suggested tons and hate to MAKE him volunteer. The fact that he is considering the Patriot academy is a major breakthrough. I'm thinking he might be able to volunteer for some politicians. ( There is a state representative that is a member of the homeschool group. He did the Patriot Academy when he was younger and his wife is the one who suggested it. ) But until this year, he has just been a typical teen boy with no real outside interests.

    On a side note, neither boy is social, even though they went to public school in elementary. My daughter is the social butterfly and she's never been to public school. She is in choir, orchestra, volunteers, etc and she is only 10!!
  • spdfspdf Posts: 955Registered User Member
    If he likes American History, you might consider Knox -- they have a really strong creative writing program, are great with American History, and the dorms are set up suite-style, with usually five double-occupancy rooms plus the RA off a shared suite, which makes it easier for a shy student to get to know people. The First-Year Preceptorial course helps create a shared experience among incoming freshmen, and the Pumphandle the evening before classes helps introduce new students to the community.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    I agree that he has plenty of time - wanted to lead with that.

    I also think stopping at 55 hours is a good idea. If you go to 60, some colleges might see him as a transfer student rather than a new freshman, and that might exempt him from some awards.

    Now - on to your question:

    If this wonderful young man were mine, I would want to explore, just for fun, WHY he is obsessed with political science. What is it that intrigues him? Is it because he wants to see "the right thing" done? Is it to help people, Is it because he likes to see collaboration? What is it that's got him hooked? It might be all of those things or something else entirely...whatever it is, I'd want to understand what's lighting his fire.

    THAT knowledge might help y'all narrow down his field. For instance, if it's a justice thing, or helping people - maybe he'd be interested in being a judge. If it's collaboration - there are multiple areas where STRONG teamwork is necessary.

    He's a smart kid! Maybe he belongs in some military or CIA think tank!!!
  • sacchisacchi Posts: 2,086Registered User Senior Member
    I suggest looking into having him participate in National History Day. Home schoolers can work an NHD project into the history curriculum.
    Home of History Education: National History Day

    Are there any options for participating in ECs at the local high schools related to his interests, such as Model UN, JSA, mock trial, debate/forensics, etc.?

    Economics is a major to consider, in addition to the obvious political science, history, and English. Economics majors seems to have better career path options than those majors. Law school is an obvious thing to consider in the future, although there are all kinds of horror stories these days about law school grads being unable to find jobs.
  • MinnymomMinnymom Posts: 660Registered User Member
    Our DS2- a hs junior- just took the ASVAB. It is a battery administered at no cost by the military. Yes, they use it to screen and recruit, but he did not choose any options on the data fields to be contacted, so we will see if that is honored. But it has a large career exploration component that we think may help our son see where his talents, aptitude, and interests may direct his college and career goals. He scored very high in math and science. His style of work and learning was "investigative" and "enterprising." It then listed hundreds of potential occupations that may be suited to him. This will hopefully give him a level of awareness and a place to start as he thinks about college and career readiness. Might be worth checking into next fall.
  • BeanTownGirlBeanTownGirl Posts: 2,726Registered User Senior Member
    This is a good, easy-to-use book to start exploring majors and careers based on personality types:
    10 Best College Majors for Your Personality: Laurence Shatkin: 9781593578633: Amazon.com: Books
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,432Registered User Senior Member
    Economics is a major to consider, in addition to the obvious political science, history, and English.

    Yes, if you're comfortable with math. Economics involves lots of math.
  • mathmommathmom Posts: 23,687Registered User Senior Member
    Believe me, I've tried. I can't get him to want to do anything. I've suggested tons and hate to MAKE him volunteer.
    Maybe you should require it. We did. We showed our kids the Common Application and showed them where it asks about volunteer hours and asked whether they really wanted to leave the box empty. My younger son actually was required to put in ten hours working for a community organization as part of getting the NYS government requirement without taking a government course - he liked it so much he kept doing it and it ended up being the subject of one of his best essays.

    Maybe he'd like volunteering better if you call it interning or job exploration.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 38,061Registered User Senior Member
    Re: math and statistics

    Statistics knowledge is generally useful in any social studies field (political science, psychology, sociology, economics, etc.).

    However, more advanced math is generally needed only for economics.
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