In our previous post, we looked at resources to help students develop their academic resume and personal statement. This week, let’s focus in on assisting students to find what they’re passionate about and translating that into career path goals. Identifying these goals before defining a path for after high school can help students find a good-fit institution to lead them to their ideal career
In high school, my focus was on getting into college. I may have strayed from that focus a time or two, but in general, I took classes that I knew would look good to admission recruiters. I didn’t give a lot of thought to career goals. Indeed, no one ever walked me through weighing job offers. This is why Discovery Education has partnered with The TalentED Project, TGR EDU: Explore, and Pathway to Financial Success in Schools to provide resources about college and life.
When I began searching for colleges and universities while in high school, I was overwhelmed by the number of institutions, opinions from my parents and classmates, and the uncertainty of how I could stand out in the crowd. Finding a good fit is the underlying fear all of these things have in common. Some colleges and universities may be a better fit than others.
The TalentED Project makes it simple for your students to search for the colleges and universities where they are more likely to succeed. Not only is there opportunity to connect with admissions recruiters but every university in the platform is awarded TalentED badges based on selectivity, affordability, retention, and graduation rates.
Your passions and interests should guide your career path. Common sense right? Maybe to us adults, but how does that translate to a 13-year-old 7th grader or even a high school junior. I’m pretty sure I know middle-aged adults still working on the career path piece. I know many of the resources and tools we are sharing here would have helped me as a young student and as a young adult entering the workforce.
Let’s begin with helping students find their passion. With the Find Your Passion activity, your students can see how their passions and interests can lead to promising careers through a series of surveys, interviews, and research. Then, with the Career Path activity, your students will be able to visualize future career paths and then translate this information into goals for themselves.
As an educator, one of the most influential lessons we can deliver to students is showing them they have options in their life. The more doors we can open by highlighting a variety of careers, the better chance we have of tapping into what students may be passionate about.
Optional Strategy: An excellent brainstorming strategy that you can use with your class as they think about both their academic resume and personal statement is Who Are You?
When I taught, a job offer was pretty straightforward meaning there really wasn’t all that much to consider. I could quickly look up the pay online; the number of years taught would equal this amount of compensation. There were no negotiations for stock options, commission rates or bonuses and certainly no negotiating the salary. It was all already set. Your students, unless they become a teacher or enter a similar field with set compensation, need to understand all the options that come with job offers and getting paid.
There are tools available to help students not only search for a job, but also to explore income and non-income factors when weighing job offers. Your students may not remember a time before social networks, many have the entire life posted to one or several networks. The Preparing for Work classroom activity does a great job speaking to not only the importance of professional networking but also about paying attention to what is already shared on social networks. Companies check more than just a resume when looking for potential hires. The Calculating Different Pay Types and Comparing Job Offers lessons discuss options I wish I knew about when I went from the public to the private sector.
Thank you for following along with our College Access Month blog series.
Week 1 – Your Students Can Go to College
Week 3 – Positioning Students for the Future
Week 4 – Help them Find Their Fit