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When Choosing a Career Path Essay

The first step that students can use to choose the career that is right for them is to take a career test. One of the most popular of these tests is known as the Holland Scale. It has six different category areas that students are attracted to such as investigative, social, or artistic. Based on these different areas, students can explore careers based on their interests (Joanna Saison).

Evaluate Strengths and Skills

When a student has figured out the general idea of his or her career path, the next step in the process is for them to evaluate and find out what their strengths and skills are. These are known as transferable skills (Joanna Saison)[1]. Examples of some of these skills are management and leadership skills, oral and written communication, public speaking or computer literacy (Joanna Saison)[2].

Develop Skills and Experience

The authors in the article cited above also mention that if a person discovers that they lack the skills and experience needed for their chosen career field, there are several steps that they can take to gain the skills and experience necessary. First of all, a person who is employed can investigate to find out if they can get trained on the job. They can also look to find out if there are ways to be involved in projects that help to develop skills (Joanna Saison). Students also have access to resources in their community to develop their skills and experience. Chambers of Commerce in their area or state job development programs is a few of the resources that are available (Joanna Saison).

Students are also able to increase their skills and experience by being involved with volunteer work or internships. The benefit of an internship is that you are able to work with people in your chosen career field (Joanna Saison). Some fields or industries have specific educational requirements and skills. An example of this would be that if a student is planning on getting into the education field, an education degree would be required. A few more options available to students are that they can take night classes or become involved with school on a part time basis (Joanna Saison).

Other Factors Involved in Choosing a Career

The previous section covered some of the more obvious factors involved for students trying to figure out a career path that is right for them. This next section discusses and analyzes some other factors that may be involved in choosing the right career.

Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?

If a student is an introvert, they will be spending much of their time alone. On the other hand, if a student is an extrovert, they will do very well in social interactions (Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career)[3].

Goals and Rewards a Person is Looking For

Based on the article cited above, another factor that students may want to take into consideration is what goals and rewards they consider important for themselves. Stated another way, this can also mean what is more valued by the individual person. The author states that “some people desire to help others directly, while others seek independence and autonomy.” (Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career)[4]

Career Resources for Students and Teachers

The objective of this report up to this point has been to assist students on how to find career related information. The next section is going to discuss how to choose the right career using a government source. The Bureau of Labor Statistics website contains a section that lists career resources that are designed for use by teachers and students. It is located at http://www.bls.gov/audience/students.htm. Once a student is at that page, they would then need to click on this link. This section gives students access to over 60 occupations by interest or subject area. In addition, students can find out what tasks of their chosen occupation are, how to prepare for that occupation, what kind of salary they can expect and the job outlook for their chosen occupation (U. B. Statistics).

Upon clicking on the hyperlink documented above, a student will discover that there is another page that groups job titles based on the skill. This means that those careers that use reading as the main skill are classified into their separate category and those jobs that use math as a main skill are grouped into that category. For example, if a student had the desire to choose a career where managing money is important, they would click on the words managing money (B. o. Statistics, What Do you Like?)

To further expand on this vast topic, as an example, let us consider if a student wanted to choose one of the careers associated with managing money. The careers listed are Accountant, Financial Analyst, Loan Officer, Bookkeeping Clerk, and Real Estate Agent. If for instance, a student wanted to pursue a career as an accountant, they would click that job title when they go to the following source: (B. o. Statistics, Accountant)

Upon clicking on the job title accountant, the student would then discover that there are several different types of accountants. There are public accountants, management accountants, government accountants and internal auditors listed as job titles (B. o. Statistics, Accountant)[5]. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of accountants have a college degree in accounting.

If however, a student had a desire to be a public accountant, they would be required to take a special test. Upon successfully passing that test, the student would get a certification. They would then need to get a license from the state in which they reside. As of May 2008, the average salary for accountants and auditors was $65,840 (B. o. Statistics, Accountant)[6]. A student can access information about another career by following the process of steps described above.


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