I love the fact that with home schooling we can customize our children’s education to fit their needs. High school can be used to investigate options for careers to help your student take the next step toward adulthood. I have a friend who taught a class at one of our local home school co-ops and she has given me permission to use an article from her blog about this topic. I have edited it somewhat and added a few of my own examples. I have provided a link to her blog at the bottom of the page if you’d like to read it in its entirety.
Career Exploration is a Process, Not a Point
Learning the process is the goal in teaching a Career Exploration class. Express to your student that he or she may not know specifically what they want to be, but the class will teach them a process that allows them to search and plan better.
The 4 Step Career Exploration Process:
- Investigate-Discover your personality, abilities, skills and priorities
- Match possible careers to your personality
- Research potential careers to see if there is a fit
- Prepare a plan to pursue your career choice
By way of example, Ian found out when he took the interest survey that a possible career choice would be in radio. He volunteered for 6 weeks at a local radio station and decided that it would not be a career path he would likely follow.
The most helpful tools for teaching the Career Exploration process are a collection of several on-line interest surveys and personality quizzes (see Resources). Many are free or charge only a small amount. These surveys will direct your student to several career choices to research further. We used the least expensive and quickest quizzes in our class, the Jung Typology Test from Humanmetrics.com and the CareerKey.org test for $9.95. Some students took the longer tests, such as Career Direct and The Call. Each costs around $80 and is very thorough.
After picking four to six possible careers, a student should carefully research them. They should investigate the working conditions, skills needed, pay rates and future outlook for their chosen fields. For conducting research on-line, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has a valuable site (see Resources). Consider having your student interview someone in their chosen field. They will greatly benefit from doing this as it either changed their minds significantly, or confirmed their career choices.
It would be beneficial to have your scholar pick one book from topics that included career exploration, high school planning, college preparation, or study habits. Do What You Are and What Color is Your Parachute? For Teens are two books that are helpful in making career investigations. In the book, Do what You Are, the reader takes a personality test and then researches matching career choices. What Color is Your Parachute? For Teens has students consider interests, skills, personality types, and work environments to identify potential dream jobs.
Having a Goal
The last step for students in the Career Exploration process is creating an education and experience plan to meet their goals. Students need to think about what classes and part-time jobs they can pursue today to prepare them for their futures. If a student has a goal in sight, schoolwork and part-time jobs become more meaningful. Information can be found in several home schooling books on high school planning.
Your student should also learn the graduation requirements in your state, and also what most colleges expect. All of this information is on-line, and the College Board web site is also helpful. After undertaking these steps, your student can create a high school plan that is unique to him or her. Is your student crazy about math? Be sure to look at the college majors that concentrate in that area. Do you have a child who is talented in art? What kind of opportunities can be found while in high school? Perhaps your church has a VBS that needs an art coordinator or a summer camp that needs a craft counselor. (cooky name, but we had one at our camp)
Life is an Adventure
The Career Exploration experience may trigger something dynamic for your student. A metamorphosis can occur as students begin to chart a career path with manageable steps to get there. Encourage your high school student to consider carefully how they manage their time, what kind of classes they select and what kind of part-time jobs they work. Each decision in life can open doors that will lead them on the path to their goals and dreams. I hope enjoy guiding your student to investigate his/her personality, match them with potential careers, research occupations to find a good fit, and then execute a plan to reach their goals.
Resources for Career Exploration
- http://www.humanmetrics.com Personality tests, some free.
- http://www.careerkey.org Personality related to occupations ($9.95)
- http://www.careerdirectonline.org Career Direct assessment from Crown Financial Ministries ($80)
- http://www.thecallonline.com The Call Vocational and Life Purpose Guide from Focus on the Family (Approximately $79)
- http://www.stats.bls.gov/oco Occupational Outlook Handbook on-line
- http://www.myroad.collegeboard.com College and career planning website