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Selecting the right career is not as simple as it looks. Mainly in high school, most of the students are focused on finding the best college without even thinking about where they will land after completing college. It’s never too early to start career planning and having an idea about your future career allows a high school student to pick the rich college and course.  

Every child starts to think about their career from the early seven, but they start discovering more about their career in high school. Before you make any decision about your college it’s important for a high school student to come up with career plans and make it clear where they want to land in the future. 

Having a career plan allows you to be more focused, helps you to learn about yourself, offers ideas about how the industry works, and the skills needed to enter into the particular industry. 

High school is the best time to get started with your career planning as it makes you aware of your weaknesses, strengths, skills, and knowledge required to achieve your future goal. 

Once a high school student steps into the college they start to spend their time and money in achieving their career goals. That’s why it’s important to take the right step toward career planning in the early days so that you are able to determine the right career for your future. 

Very few people are born with a clear mind who knows what they want to do and where they see themselves in the future. But most high school students are not aware of what they want to achieve in their life, that’s why it’s important to plan things out so that you have true meaning and purpose in your life. 

Today many high school students rely on their interests when selecting a career or college.  Knowing about your interest, skills, and academic achievement can help you a lot during the career planning phase.  Well, there are other steps involved that can help you concrete a more effective plan. 

Below we are going to highlight the importance of career planning and how a high school student can get started with career planning to identify the best one for their future.

Why is Career planning essential for High School students?

Most of the students after landing in their eighth grade start thinking about what their future may hold. Many start exploring different career options they wish to land in and there are students who need guidance as they are unsure of the path.  Career planning enables students to identify their strengths, skills, and interests that help them to determine the best career path for their future. 

In every grade, high schoolers are asked what they wish to do when you grow up. It is one of the common questions every student comes across in the early days. Most of the students answer based on what they have learned (about a career) from their teachers or parents or elders.  On the other hand, there are students who make up answers or are totally unaware of what they want to achieve. 

There are different surveys around the stats 52% of the students find the right career option only after joining graduation or at the end of the graduation. But in reality, high school is the best time to make the right career plan so that depending on the plan one can join the right course get the right training, and build the right skills that can help them  to land in the desired industry

In high school, when students start learning or exploring different career options, most of the time students change their minds multiple times after they are introduced to a new career option. Not only that but an individual can also change their mind after and enter the workforce. Undoubtedly when a new beginner starts to learn about multiple careers they are likely to switch as they start finding different career options that relate to their interest. 

Limiting yourself to one career is not a good choice because high school is the time when you can explore different occupations, learn various things about different sectors, and many more.  

So in high school, every student should look into what they want to achieve in their career. During that phase, students are more curious about learning new things, and investigating different occupations and sectors encourages them to become more curious about their future goals.

Below we are going to highlight some important reason why career planning is important for  high school students: 

Allows students to identify and leverage their strengths

Students who are aware of their strengths are most likely to make more wise decisions when it comes to selecting the right career for their future. Learning more about your strengths allows you to understand what you’re good at and which career option can be suitable for your future. 

When you start learning more about your strength there will be a time when you will come across your weakness as well. Knowing your weakness and working on improving it will make your future more bright and fruitful. But remember focusing on improving your weakness shouldn’t be your main strategy instead you can focus on leveraging your strength. 

Most high schoolers tend to identify their real strength after they land in their graduation. But taking the right assessment and consulting with a good counselor during high school will help an individual to discover their strength at an early age so that you are able to build a structured career plan for your future. 

So if you wish to select the right career option then it’s important to understand and learn more about your strengths. People that are aware of their strengths are more likely to make an impact on society and in their personal life as well.

Start taking the right decisions in the right direction

Today one of the most controversial statements is why students are not able to land in the right college and job? Well, the answer is most of the high schoolers make their career decision either from a recommendation or by looking at the trend and paycheck. Very few think of taking the right decision with a well-planned career goal. 

In reality, no other person is going to develop the right career path for you, and success doesn’t happen by chance. To have a successful career you need to know where you want yourself to land and which industry you will love working in? Once you are aware of your plan then you can start working toward developing skills to help you achieve your long-term goal. 

For example, if you are in your 9th grade and thinking of planning a  career as a chartered accountant then you need to know what steps you need to take to reach your final destination. Which subjects you need to focus more on when you land in your 11the and 12th and which exams you need to qualify to become CA. subjects, exam pattern, syllabus, topics, and many more. 

Once you have a predetermined career plan then you will be more apt to take the right steps in the right direction. Most people blame others if they fail in their life or in their career. But with the right career plan, you are less likely to blame others if things don’t go as planned and focus on improving your mistakes. 

Helps develop more confidence  

If you are not aware of what you’re going to do in your future then most probably you may end up in an unsatisfied career option or job. Many people moving ahead without a career plan get lost in their journey or land in the wrong place. 

On the other hand, if you are aware of your career plan then you become more confident at every step in your life. Having a career plan allows you to set long term and short term goals. Once you start accomplishing short-term goals then you will get a sense of confidence which encourages you to move closer to the long-term goal.  

Today, many high school students don’t have a clear career goal which makes it difficult for them to gain the self-confidence needed to make the right career-related decision. For example, if you wish to become the marketing or finance manager of a reputed company, but you begin your journey without a structured plan then you may start losing confidence, and when the time comes you may not be able to compete with your competition.   

If you haven’t started to plan your career then it’s time to create a plan that gives you the right direction and a sense of purpose in your daily life. Having a career plan makes it easy for you to work confidently toward achieving your goal. 

Career Planning for High School Student (Step by Step Process)

Undoubtedly high school is the best time to start thinking about your future career goals. Many are unaware of what they want to achieve, which is perfectly fine. Because high school is the time when students focus more on co-curricular activities. But to land a satisfying career, a high schooler needs to start planning early so that they are able to explore a different career option in the early days. 

Below we are going to determine how one can create an effective career plan for their future. 

Learn About Yourself 

Whether you are a high school student or a working professional before you start planning your career you need to identify things you enjoy and what you’re good at. Right now if you don’t know what to choose for your career then before you start planning your career it’s important to identify what you want to learn about. 

Most high schoolers get confused about which college to select after they complete their schooling. Well before you start the college search process it’s important to identify what interests you and what your wish to learn. It can be only done when you start learning about yourself. 

If you are aware of the industry but do not get excited after seeing yourself in a particular industry then you need to think about what you want to do. Because the industry you select will play a major role in your future. The whole purpose of learning about yourself is to identify your strengths, skills, interests, and more. 

If you are looking to find your hidden skills, interest, and more then there is nothing better than “Self Assessment”   

Self Assessment

We believe that any career planning should begin with assessment as it helps an individual to identify the strength, weaknesses, skills, interests,s and more. During the assessment phase, students can identify what they do best and how they can use his/her strengths towards finding the right career for their future. 

There are times when high school students know their interest but aren’t aware of their strength, in the assessment phase students go through various identifiers game adn test which helps them to figure out what they are best at. A strength-based approach in career planning helps students to find the right career option which they desire. 

Before a high school student gets into experiencing various career options they need to learn what they enjoy and what they are good at. If a student doesn’t know what they want to do then first they need to find an answer for what they want to learn about? Are they interested in “labs, or doing research, playing, and more? Once you successfully identify the answer then you can select the right career option.  

The best way to learn about yourself is “Self Assessment”.  

2. Identifying possible career options 

Once you are aware of the activities and subjects you like the most, next you can start your search for various career options that relate to your skills and interests. For example, if you love science then you can learn about career options in engineering, agriculture, and more. Or if you like math then you can look for accounting, budget analysts, and many more. 

The main goal is to identify the possible career option that matches your interest, skills, and most important priorities.  There are many options available when it comes to selecting an occupation. At an early age, you can start exploring hundreds of occupations depending on the interest and skills you have and the ones you can build in the future.

In high schools. We recommend not to find yourself bound by a particular goal; you have full liberty to explore various career options. But make sure the one you select should relate to your interest. While exploring different career options you can take the help of a tool or your closed one like your friends, family, teachers, and more. assessment 

Another way to identify the potential career option is by considering the local employers or job opportunities. Apart from the popular career option, there are other occupations that you may not be aware of. Mostly in the manufacturing or healthcare sector, there are a lot of opportunities. Exploring local employers and job opportunities will help you to discover new industries and occupations which you may not be aware of.

Even if you find a career option that matches your skills and interest, we would recommend not to stop your search. Exploring various sectors and industries will introduce you to new fields that you may not be aware of.  

3. Research your options 

After determining the best career option or creating a list of multiple options next comes the important part i.e researching the different options in your list. While identifying possible career options you might have gained a little knowledge about the industry or occupation in your list. But if you wish to land in the right career, then it’s important to conduct in-depth reason on the option in your list. 

Learning about different career options help you to identify the skills needed to enter into the industry, day to day working life of an individual, growth rate, and more.  You can always find help from teachers and elders so that you get an in-depth idea about the selected career option

You can also get in touch with an individual working in the same field. If you don’t have any content with working professionals then you can ask your friend, teacher, or family for their content. Once you successfully find the person you can talk to them via phone or email and ask them to meet in person so that they can share more information about working in the industry. 

During the personal interview, you can also share your thoughts and ask the suggestion whether it’s good selecting that particular field as a career or not. Because a person working in the same field will give more transparent and hidden information about the growth potential and their day to day working culture. 

4. Join internship

Once you successfully research a career option next comes the important part i.e getting an in-depth idea about the industry. While conducting a personal interview you might have got a little idea about the functioning or we can say the taste of the occupation. Think about how great it would be if you get a personal experience of working in a particular industry. 

Many people think that a high school student can join an internship, so here is the answer compared to college days. High school is the best time for students to join an internship and get a personal experience of working in that particular industry. 

If you are a high school student and have an interest in working in the agriculture industry then you can start getting career-related experience by joining an internship. No matter whether it’s paid or unpaid, getting an internship at an early stage will help you to learn more about the working culture which will help you to decide whether it’s the right fit for you or not. 

Taking part in different internship programs will also allow you to discover what you like and what you don’t. These experiences may teach you some of the valuable soft skills as well as hard or technical skills. Completing an internship is the best way to get industrial experience. 

During your internship, you get a supervised assignment that will help you get practical knowledge about the job. Many high schools offer academic credit or points if a student completes an internship in a particular industry.

i. Summer Part-Time 

Another way to get experience in your desired industry is by joining summer part-time (in your holidays). Getting a paid internship can be difficult however if you have or get the prior knowledge about the industry, then you may get a paid part-time job which will help you to earn money as well experience. For high school students, summer is the best time to join and explore various industries.

ii. Participate in other activities 

Apart from the summer part-time, you can also join in some other activities in your school that may spark your career interest. For example, joining debate competitions, leading a team, and more. Making joining groups that include community service and leadership will contribute toward your career goal. By participating in these types of activities you can build soft skills. 

Other than that you can also take part in academic competitions like Olympiads, essay writing competitions, and more that may lead to a career. Volunteering at religious institutions, local NGOs and other governments are among the activities that give a boost to your future resume.

When do students begin thinking about their career interests?

Most of the time career planning begins after a student lands in the final year of their under graduation or post-graduation (when they are searching for a new job). Well, college students can still identify various options during that point in time but it’s considered too late to find the right career for their future. During the last hour, they end up selecting a career option they don’t wish to enter. 

So what is the best time for students to start thinking about their career planning? 

According to recent research, students start to gain career-related and occupational interest as early as in the seventh grade. That is the time when they start determining the importance of career goals and what they wish to be in the future. As students start upgrading themselves to the next grade they start getting more curious about their future goal and this is when they should start planning for their career. 

In the early days, students start to select career choices depending on their interests and values but as the day passes their career planning gets more dependent on how much money they are going to make or whether they have a good job at a reputable company or not. But instead of focusing on the job and paycheck, I would recommend students should select a career that aligns with their interests, values, and most importantly skills.

During the high school interest of every student, regarding their career development at the same rate, these interests generally include thinking about having a technical or scientific career like becoming an engineer, teacher, doctor, and more. 

Most of the researchers agree that these interests start to develop as a result of the environment they are living in. High School is the best time to help students get exposure to different industries and participate in different activities so that they are able to select the right career path for their future. Students who have explored various career options are more informed about their career planning. 

Is there any relation between student academic achievement and career interest? 

Undoubtedly a student’s career interest and academic achievement overlap, sometimes academic achievement helps students to determine the right career path whereas there are times when academic achievement doesn’t match with career achievement. 

For example, a student may have gained good achievement in a particular skill or in the subject but don’t feel excited when it comes to selecting it as a career goal. On the other hand, a student may be interested in a particular field or industry or subject but have few skills or knowledge about it. 

While making a career plan students should focus on both skills and interests. Remember skills can be developed over a period of time but your interest should relate to the career option. Most of the time people end up doing a job in an industry that doesn’t excite them and make them feel satisfied. 

Most of the high school students may not find themselves good at the skills required to enter into a particular industry. But it can be developed with the right strategy and by creating a short and long term plan. It’s very obvious that students will find their interest stronger than skills but skills can be developed once you decide which industry you want to get into. To select the right career plan go behind your interests and check whether you can accomplish those skills or not. Depending on that you can find the right career option. 

Are High school student’s career interests consistent with college majors? 

Today it is important for students to have interests that are consistent with their college major. Most of the students enter higher education with a strong set of ideas, structured career options, and a sense of confidence to accomplish their goals. But they start losing interest after they land into the desired college major which directly affects career planning. 

Researchers say that students who are familiar with their interests and keep their interest consistent with their choice of college majors are likely to have more structured career goals. The same goes for the job, students who are interested in their job will have a more satisfying experience. 

There are times when student interests are consistent but somehow the career option they select may not be consistent due to current and future workforce demands. For example, most of the students prefer to join occupations like engineering, visual art, applied art, and more but sadly due to the huge crowd working for the same goal the demands are comparatively less. Whereas your desire to enter into the industry like agriculture, nursing, pharmacy, and more. Those are areas where demands are high but job seekers are less. 

If you don’t want your interest to die as you move ahead in your career, then we would recommend you to make an education and career decision that allows you to keep your interest consistent 

Conclusion: 

High School is considered one of the most crucial times to get started with career planning. Above we have listed all the tips on how a high school student can start their career plan by exploring different industries. High school is the time when students get more curious about knowing different industries. Using our highly advanced AI-driven career assessment platform students can not only know about different industries but they can explore each one individually.  

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Author Vati Careers

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