An easier way to choose a career path

Current tools and choices can aid in obtaining future success

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Sabrina Lo

Sati Kassarjian, a junior, considers numerous career paths for her future.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" 

This is a question that adults have asked youth time and time again.

Coincidentally, students often do not know the answer to such an inquiry. In a short survey of 76 people, 46 (61%) claimed that they do not know what career path they desired to pursue. However, with the end of the school year lurking around the corner, many will continue to ponder about their future.

Though students typically have a general idea of what they want to do by the time college applications come around, there are also many that have not decided by then. In turn, many schools offer pathways to help the student determine their intended field of study.

Another struggle students often face is finding a job that includes their interests and pays well simaultaneously. Searching for a career path that one is passionate and ambitious about is key. Despite how difficult this task may seem, there are various tools that help students try out different fields and see which ones they like best.

Naviance

Naviance is a great way to initiate the search for a career path. On the website, there are various career assessments that ask questions about one's strengths, likes, and dislikes, and compile the data into a list of possible jobs and career paths, depending on the prominent qualities shown in an individual's answers. 

Ranging from architecture to law, Naviance also provides details on numerous careers and gives an extensive list of different occupations available within a certain field. In addition, the platform displays the colleges and majors that are relevant to each area of work.  

Naviance has much of the necessary information needed to begin planning for down the road. If a student is lost on what career pathway they want to take, Naviance is the place to start.

Other websites, such as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), can provide a similar service to students in need of assistance.

Exploring

Although Naviance can introduce students to different career pathways, solely using the Naviance website makes it difficult to determine whether or not a recommended field would truly be a student's best fit. Nevertheless, finding the perfect fit becomes more manageable with the help of hobbies, internships, and educational courses. 

Hobbies:

It is vital that a student is interested in the career they pursue. Studies have shown that people work more productively and happily when they are passionate about their job, which can lead to a better future in terms of work. 

Internships:

Internships are another way to expose oneself to various careers and real-world experiences. Through internships, students can gain experience working in different fields, helping them to determine what they like or dislike. In addition, they are appealing on college applications as they often show self-determination. 

Educational Courses: 

Both high schools and community colleges offer courses to provide opportunities for students, exposing them to different careers. Many high schools offer elective classes that allow students to learn about subjects that interest them. Community colleges also provide free additional courses that can help students learn about areas of interest, for example, criminal justice or accounting. 

 

Career paths by Sabrina Lo

There is no "set time" in which a student should know what career they'll have, and with the workforce continually changing, it can be challenging to stick to just one path. But, remaining optimistic and open can undoubtedly help. 

Connie Dominguez, a counselor at Carlmont, said, "Students should be open to unforeseen opportunities, networking, and following their own interests and passions. They should not rely on what other people expect them to do for a living, and they should give themselves some time to tinker in what they enjoy doing."