Following your passions doesn’t get you a job or lead to happiness. Follow your aptitudes.

There is a disconnect between jobs and workers. The workforce needs certain jobs but people are not trained for them, and are interested in doing other jobs.

A McKinsey article highlights this interesting dilemma. On the one hand, almost 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need, even for entry-level jobs. Almost 60 percent complain of lack of preparation, even for entry-level jobs. On the other hand, this “skills gap” represents a massive pool of untapped talent, and it has dire consequences, including economic underperformance, social unrest, and individual despair.

Pursuing your interests is a very limiting strategy, because your interests are only what you have been exposed to. But there are many more careers available than what you know.

Research has found that students interests generally do not align with their aptitudes (see charts below).

* Based on research by University of Missouri, 7222 students, 24 high schools, 14 states.

As you can see, aptitudes are equal across all high demand professions, but gender representation is not. Career guidance based on aptitude can eliminate social bias and uncover talent for in-demand jobs.

At Summer Springboard, we encourage students to look at their aptitudes as well as interests. We try to harness students interests and provide deeper insight into what it’s really like to work in a certain industry in order to give them a clearer vision of their interests. Imagine learning Law from someone who argued a case before the Supreme Court, or studying Medicine with doctors who have set up emergency medicine programs around the world, or building your portfolio of creative writing under the guidance of a published author. At the same time, our True You curriculum helps students discover more about themselves, including their aptitudes and personality so they can make better decisions about college selection, academic major, and career goals.

So, while we encourage students to explore their passions, we emphatically encourage students to look inward, so they can go upward into paths they had not previously considered.

Not only did I learn about career options that will help with my future decisions, I learned about the importance of medicine in our world today. Along with learning so much, I made many lifelong friends. I grew as a leader and found my true self by looking within. Overall, this program was an amazing experience, and I would recommend it for anyone looking to get a taste of the college experience.” – .Kylee W.

Interested in learning more?

Summer Springboard provides pre-college summer programs for teens at UC Berkeley, Yale, and Georgetown. The innovative 2-week summer programs for high school students combine self-discovery with hands-on learning and college preparation. Call 858-780-5660.