Committing To A Career Pathway Is An Important Decision For High School Students
By Alzahraa Saeed, Stride Student Advisor
Choosing the right career path can be one of the most important, yet hardest, things any high school student deals with… but not to worry. In this blog, l will be sharing some tips and firsthand experiences, which will hopefully help you make your best decision, or at least get you to explore some pathways of interest.
From the moment we step into school, as little kindergarteners, we start learning about all types of careers. We learn about broad career path options, such as those laid out for firefighters, doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc...
We all make our little school projects and start with big hopes. Maybe we even dream of being an astronaut someday! Then, we soon start to realize that it is not as easy as in our dreams. The amount of schooling, the issues of finances, the realities of salary, and the long years for obtaining a degree can all play a role in career decision-making.
So, the big question is… “How do you choose the right path for yourself?”
First, we need to start by figuring out what your strongest interests and personality traits are, which can sometimes be hard to figure out alone. That’s why I recommend taking quizzes to help reveal the information you need, such as the “High School Career Quiz,” offered by Stride Career Prep. Such quizzes start by asking you about your personality and the things that most interest you, and so on. This then leads you to a list of different job options and careers.
The second step would have to be actually exploring your options, as a high school student. You start off by doing things like volunteer work, job shadowing, internships, or even simple research, such as “googling” the different careers and their salaries, and whether they require many years of schooling. Once you’ve done all of that, then you can start researching colleges near you that offer any degree you might need on your chosen career path.
Now, here comes one of the hardest parts… committing to that chosen career pathway for (possibly) the next two to four years.
Personally, I find this last step to be very important, because once you start taking classes that interest you, you will then start finding people who are very like-minded. These are most often your classmates, who have the same career interests as yourself. Picking that career pathway in high school can help you so much, by gathering credits or even meeting people who work in that career field. As an example, I started high school wanting to study law and eventually become a lawyer. Quickly, I began to realize how the long-term lifestyle of a lawyer is not something I want to live out, and I found that out by speaking to and actively shadowing a lawyer for a day. After that experience, I felt very discouraged and had no clue what to do next… until I stumbled across a class that was being offered by my school, which was “The Principles of Health Science.” I took that class with the mentality of “it won't hurt to try it.” Little did I know how that class, and teacher, would lead me to be so passionate about wanting to learn more, and ultimately pursue the field of Medical Studies. I felt relieved and excited! I quickly started exploring different classes that we're offered in relation to the career, and different places where I can job shadow. I even started reading books and watching videos about doctors' lifestyles, and what it's like in an average day for a pre-med student.
Making a decision, such as choosing a career path, can be very overwhelming and hard for anyone. But, hopefully, with the steps above, it can be made easier to do. As long as you don't go into a pathway with ill intentions, or you aren't pressured into a path by others, then I can almost guarantee that you will be able to enjoy most of the experiences and opportunities related to your pathway.
Be sure to check out the article, A Student’s Overview Of Online School’s Benefits, to learn more!
Make sure to visit 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, to get a Stride Student Advisor’s important advice for switching to online learning and career prep.
And, to learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, be sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html
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