Music teacher or police officer?

A high school senior is torn between two very different career paths. You don’t have to decide yet, says our elder.

Dear EWC

I am currently a high school senior that’s going to be graduating soon. I know what college I am going to but I’m now sure of my career goals. The easiest option is to be in music education — I am very good with teaching and I love music. My other career option is to be a police officer. I have been sheltered all my life and crave adrenaline, but music comes easily to me so I’m not sure what to do.

Maryanne replies

Let me start by saying that there is no reason for you to decide on a career before you even start college.
You are graduating so your first choice would be what college to attend. You have already made that choice — good for you. That is the big choice that needed taking care of. Now, you should try to enjoy your senior year in high school.

College is full of new experiences. You do not know if you will feel the same about career choices after having been in college for a year. You have four years in college, four years before you will start any career (assuming you do not do any postgraduate work). Yes, I agree, you do want to have a career plan before you graduate college but that is years away.

The two choices you have mentioned are very, very different. The work itself is vastly different and the life you will lead will be very different because of that. Is there anyone in your family that is a police officer? It would be good to talk to someone about that life. You might also post a letter on our website asking for a response from a former police officer (I do not know if we have one, but you could try). Police departments also work with civilian volunteers. You might want to see if there is one of those programs in your area. This would be something good to do during your senior year. It would give you a taste of the police lifestyle.
Just remember, you do not have to decide anything right now. It is good, very good, of course, that you are thinking about your future but you do not need to make any decisions yet.

Letter #: 452264
Category: Career

One Comment

  1. LOL majoring in Music Education is quite possibly the HARDEST undergraduate degree, it has the most credits of any undergrad degree! Also of the people applying to law school, the majority of them majored in music!

    Speaking as an unemployed music educator, if you see yourself never moving, then go for it. But, if I knew then what I know now, I might have just kept music my hobby, or 1 of my 2 degrees, instead of both. If music comes easy to you, you might have a hard time relating to students, since it won’t come easy to most of them.

    I know SO MANY people who majored in music or music ed that were in college with me, and they do something else, work for Target, work for a bank, work for a moving/real estate company. If you want a guaranteed job, don’t go into music ed.

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