High-School Senior Confused about College, Career Choices


Amy writes:
I am a senior in high school this fall and I have college applications to fill
out right around the corner.. There are so many career options to think about and I
don’t want to jump into anything I can’t handle … or choose a school just to find out
that it’s not what I want to do. I’m very confused. Can you help?


The Career Doctor responds:
You are at a critical junction in your life right now. Things may change drastically
over the next few years but as a senior in high school you are certainly being
asked to focus on three critical choices: career college and major.
As you go about making your choices remember that no decision is set in
stone. If you end up not liking the college you attend — or it does not have the
major you want to pursue — you can transfer to a different college. And
many many college students graduate with a different major than the one
they start with. And as far as careers go experts now predict that folks
graduating from college will change their careers — not jobs but careers — at
least five times over their lives as their interests change and develop and as
new careers are developed.
So given all this information here are a few things you can do.
First take the time to think about what you like to do; dream and imagine ideal
careers. There are so many opportunities so many different types of jobs and
careers in a wide variety of industries — and there are also other career paths
that are just emerging. Even if you are fairly sure of a career choice take the time
to explore similar (or even vastly different) careers. Examine your likes and
dislikes and take a few career assessment tests.
Second work volunteer or otherwise gain experience. The more experiences
you are exposed to the more options will open to you as you search out
careers. There are even a growing number of internship opportunities for high
school students. Seek work and volunteer experiences in and out of school.
And from a practical standpoint work experience looks good on college
applications — and on future job applications and resumes.
Third talk with as many adults as possible about careers and college. The best
way to find out about different careers is to ask people — family neighbors friends teachers counselors — to tell you about their career and college experiences. If
you have not already begin to build a network of adults who know you and are
willing to assist you in your educational and career endeavors. And for careers that
truly interest you consider asking each person if you can shadow him/her at work.
Read more details about these three things — and seven more — in my latest article
published on Quintessential Careers:
10 Things
for High-School Students to Remember
.