ELWOOD, Ind. —
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a record 21.8 million students will attend American colleges and universities this semester, constituting an increase of about 6.5 million since fall 2000. With competitive enrollment at higher education institutions and the cost of attending college on a constant rise, high school students and their parents are looking for the best investment with the highest return.
Antoinette Sargent, of Anderson, attended the expo with her 13-year-old daughter Hailey to shop for the best career. Before attending the event, Sargent said her daughter was considering being a pharmacist. After talking to experts at the career fair she said there were opportunities that might be a better fit.
“We skipped the firefighters,” the mother said. "That’s too much like work. She is going to use her brain power.”
Sargent said she would also like to see the expo be held more than once a year.
“Kids change their minds so often, it would be nice,” she said. “My husband and I went to work because we had to work – she can choose.”
Haley Jetty, 15, of Elwood, said she wants to pursue a career in engineering or mechanics, but learning about all the possible opportunities would make a final career decision more overwhelming.
“I think it makes it a little harder,” she said. “I’m scared of making the wrong decision because I decided to do what I want to do and not what people tell me I should do.”
Several people said they were surprised by the different experts at the expo, but a few attendees had suggestions to make the event better.
Kaya Goetz, 16, of Elwood, said she would like them to add more college representatives next year.
“I need to pick one soon,” Goetz said.
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