Being as challenging as it is, education is just the beginning of your many journeys of independence. Once the time comes to the question “How to choose a career path?”, this can put a lot of pressure on you, especially at a time when you are expected to juggle the studying, too. Such challenging times make every student confused. Will receiving a college degree improve your career opportunities or should you pursue your dream career right away?
What Does It Mean to Be College and Career Ready?
When your high school education is coming to its end, you simply must be prepared for what comes next. Will the end of this education be the beginning of another one? Or does your education journey end here and is followed by a specific, chosen career path?
Choosing your career path is a tough process that requires careful thinking and a lot of planning. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, since your entire future income and way of living will be based on what you choose. And even though students can always change careers path later in life, the career change process is very challenging and tough, and will still depend on the choices you make right now.
The 5 Step Guide on How to Choose a Career for High School Students
Many tricks and tips answer the question how to choose a career path for students. To help you out, we have selected the essential step-by-step guide on planning your future career:
Step 1: Make a List of Occupations You Want to Pursue
Every high school student probably has multiple lists of occupations they want to pursue. This is neither strange, nor a disadvantage, since big lists give you various choices and perspectives.
The first step on how to choose a career for high school students is to make a list that contains all these occupations, starting from the ones you wanted as a little child or became interested in during your high school education, to even the most bizarre or strange ideas that come across your mind. Your first list will help you make sure that you haven’t missed anything when you make the final choice.
Step 2: Explore All Occupations on the Big List
This is the part no student ever likes – research. However, this research is not the specific, strict type of research you do for your papers. This is the research where you read fun articles, get informed on your dream careers and basically, learn more about every occupation from your big list.
Fortunately, you don’t have to get to your final career choice here, but to only 10 to 20 career options. Look at this step as the first round of eliminations!
It is time to read a bit. Look into published resources and find the requirements for the jobs you wrote in your list. Read what other people said about the career in question and determine what the career requires from you. Will receiving a college degree improve your career opportunities? Or are you more interested in careers that do not require a college degree?
Talk to Others
People who have the first-hand knowledge about choosing a career path can help you make the right decision. Start with people you have in your surroundings, and then widen your search for others who work in your fields of interest. You can always use networking for this purpose, especially platforms that are career-focused, such as LinkedIn.
Your final decision on which career path to choose should be based on yourself and yourself only. This is the point where you ask the following questions:
What do you want to be?
Where do you see yourself working for the rest of your life? Is it in an office or travelling around the world? Would you like to pursue a career of a lawyer or a football player? Perhaps you want to work as a freelancer or you find simpler career choices to be more satisfactory?
Basically, you need to ask yourself the question everyone asks children when they are little – what do YOU want to be?
This means that you must eliminate those careers from the list that you added to please someone. No one should force you in a career you will pursue your entire life. Whether you want to pursue your parents’ career and take over their business or not, this decision is up to you. Whether you want to continue your education in college or not, the decision is yours again.
However, this means that you are now an adult and with being an adult come many responsibility. Making such a big choice on your own demands that you carefully consider your options, weight in the pros and cons and make a decision you won’t regret later.
Does your choice require career education?
A part of making this decision is picking your next step – will you pursue college education or skip this part and immerse yourself in the career world entirely? Do your career choices require college education? Do you have better opportunities with a college degree? And finally, how does college prepare you for your career?
Do you have the necessary skills?
You may want a job badly or think it is the best and most paying career ever, but not everyone possesses the same skills. Ask yourself – do you have what it takes to pursue that specific career?
It is quite simple. If your dream career is to be a singer, you need to have the voice for it. If you want to be a writer, you need to have advanced writing skills. Basically, it is time to be realistic.
Do you like working with other people?
Of course, you cannot find a career that will keep you away from others since all careers require some kind of communication. However, there are careers that will always surround you with others, while there are also those careers that put this communication to the very minimum. Therefore, your career choice should also be based on your personality, so this is the part where you ask yourself whether you are an introvert or extrovert.
Is your career choice financially viable?
One of the biggest factors in choosing a future career path and education is of course, the finances. Of course, the higher paying careers require more education and training, so are you interested in pursuing this path to get a high-paying job? Or perhaps you’ll be happy with a medium salary and do not want to pursue college education?
Another thing to consider here are the college expenses. Is the career you are striving to get sufficient to pay the college debt you will be making if you enroll in a college program? Will receiving a college degree improve your career opportunities or just keep you away from them longer?
Take your time to think hard on this matter. Your choice of a career and education will be the main determinant on what your future will look like.
Step 3: Create the Short List
It is time for the second round of eliminations. You have probably eliminated several career choices during step two, but it is now time to narrow it down even further.
Take a look at your career choices once again and start eliminating based on what you have learned. You should end up with a list of no more than five occupations.
Once you have this list, you are ready for the final round of eliminations.
Step 4: Make the Final Choice
At this point, you should feel ready to answer the question “How to choose a career path?” and make the final choice. Pick the occupation that will bring most satisfaction to you, will fit your skills and goals for the future.
Step 5: Make a Career Plan
Different careers require different sets of skills, talents and qualifications. By the time you have chosen your career path, you will already know what the requirements for your chosen career path are.
It is time to make the career plan. Making this plan ahead will help you reach your goals and get on the right path to get a great job.
Do you need to enroll in college to pursue your career? If yes, what are your best college choices?
Will you start pursuing the career right away? Where are you planning to work?
This plan should include any barriers that may exist to achieving your goals, as well as the best ways to overcome them.
The research you did about your future career and training should guide you in choosing a perfect career path. Once you have all the information you need to make a choice, you can start applying to jobs or colleges, and setting your future goals. When the time comes to get your high school diploma, your next journey is to focus on fulfilling both long-time and short-term goals, and your career is a great part of what awaits.