Going pro: The need for pre-professional classes

March 28, 2014 — by Rohan Hardikar

Now that I am a second-semester senior, I spend my time doing, well, nothing except for what is required to maintain decent grades in school.

Now that I am a second-semester senior, I spend my time doing, well, nothing except for what is required to maintain decent grades in school. During junior year, when my mom saw this behavior, she would threaten to take away my laptop so that I would study. It’s different this year now that this free time is more plentiful: She tells me that I should be taking online classes in Micro or Macroeconomics or Excel.
I want to pursue a career in finance, but it is hard for students already bogged down with hours and hours of work every single day to take extra online classes purely out of interest. Call it laziness or lack of time, but I can’t focus on an online class, and, certainly, even busier students don’t possess the resources to add another class either.
So, why not incorporate more of these pre-professional classes into the regular school curriculum?
Giving students the option to take focused classes that correlate with their interests or career goals will surely be beneficial on a variety of different levels. First, many students do not have any idea whatsoever about what they would like to pursue in the future, so having the ability to learn in-depth about computer science, mechanical engineering and finance would give them the needed exposure to accurately define their interests. 
Additionally, when students apply to college, their career paths aren’t necessarily defined by their first choice major, and in fact, many pick a certain major because they have only a slight interest in a particular subject. It is relatively common for college students to do a full 180 twist, switching from a computer science major to an English major because they realized they aren’t a good fit for the math and science based professions. 
Having pre-professional classes would help students avoid these predicaments by helping them to see if they truly have an interest in a certain subject. If they do, then taking specialized classes would enhance their understanding of something they are passionate about.
In addition to being a measurement for the future, taking pre-professional classes can be a valuable asset for “resume boosting.” Now, when people hear that phrase, they scoff in disgust at the misappropriation of intellectual curiosity, but in the case of these specialized classes, enrolling can kill two birds with one stone.
When applying to colleges, summer programs or internships, many times they ask if you have any experience in a particular field you want to study. For most high school students, that isn’t the case. But if schools offered these specialized classes, students could pursue their intellectual interests in the classroom as well as develop certain skills and qualities coveted in the professional world. 
With less than six months left before I head off to college, I should probably take my mom’s advice and learn Excel because for all I know, there could be a job offer down the line that requires me to be proficient in Excel. But senioritis demands that I focus my attentions on greater things, like playing video games for four hours straight. I think I’ll do that instead.