To be or not to be… successful?


It is impossible to deny the positive effects of parental involvement in school education. There are even organizational cultures that encourage and increase school parent involvement. As for parental involvement in higher education, primarily, it is interesting to question whether students need help like schoolchildren at the time when adulthood often enters around of 18. Choosing a college or university major represents a major life decision and choosing the right place requires careful consideration and should not be a “last minute decision” (Gould, 2012, p. 33) or parents’ decision. Unfortunately, as research has shown this decision is most frequently identified as life regret for students (Beggs et al, 2008). Taking into account the fact that the student is not a child any more at this age and great choice of pre-professional university programs, plentiful time the students have before choosing a major, it is interesting to study how parents influence on their decisions what to study, whether the students study what interests them or what interests their parents. Consequently, this raises the question what steps the students take in preparation for college or university graduation, what skills they are equipped with and how these young adults are prepared to enter the workforce especially, when higher education institutions are very actively involved in increasing the employability of graduates (Tempus, 2012). To be professional requires keen interest and commitment to the profession, strong will and confidence. Otherwise, they can fall of their way to success or as it is stressed by Gould (2012) they have “to craft their own life and experience” (p. 31). This is really the time for young people to have that wonderful opportunity to experiment and find their way. How can we generate new knowledge and ensure good training of qualified and adaptable labor force if the students are ‘overprotected’ by their parents.
Finally, according to Salmi et al (2009) “higher education is of paramount importance for economic and social development” (p. 100). Worldwide there is recognition of the important role of the link between industry and education and an attempt to ‘bridge’ students with business in order to equip them with transferable skills and upgrade their knowledge. Universities should help the consumers of their service acquire 21-century skills and navigate their way to labor market because they gain knowledge from quality resources. The main factors considered in recruiting graduates are interpersonal skills, teamwork and ICT skill. Only self-confident student equipped with academic qualifications and employability skills can easily navigate his way to work force and be successful.

Beggs, J. M., Bantham, J. H., & Taylor, S. (2008). Distinguishing the Factors Influencing College Students’ Choice of Major. College Student Journal, 42 (2), 381-394.
Gould, J. B. (2012) How to succeed in college [While Really Trying]: A professor’s inside advice. The University of Chicago press.
National Tempus office Kazakhstan. (2012). Higher Education in Kazakhstan. Tempus.
Salmi, J., Hopper, R. & Bassett, R.M. (2009). Transforming Higher Education in Developing Countries: The role of the World Bank. New York, NY: Taylor &Francis

1 thought on “To be or not to be… successful?

  1. As a parent I have never thought of influencing my children’s decision about the university. Now I do. Reading your post I recalled the students of developed countries like UK and US: completely autonomous, sometimes lost, mostly unsuccessful. Dependence on parents, which is common in Kazakhstan, has advantages as well. For example, students have better relationships with parents and try to achieve higher results to please them. However, career progression and job choice does not seem to be closely connected to parental support. Sooner or later each of us, despite the degree, finds the suitable job without the parental integration but with their support. We should also remember that whatever we do, parental support remains the same, always positive and sufficient.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s