Before flipping through college view books or logging onto campus websites, students need to begin the process of selecting colleges by examining themselves. Think about the factors that have nurtured your talents and interests. What are the common threads? Small classes? Time with teachers? Straight lecture style? Self design curriculum? Independent study and research? Do you flourish with presentations and group projects or do you prefer more structured and defined curriculum? Know thyself – it is the key to the college search!
Did you know research indicates that by the year 2025 65% of the adult workforce in New Hampshire will need to possess a meaningful credential or postsecondary degree in order to meet demands of our state’s economy? One way to begin your search for a career is to think about the things you are good at doing and then find careers that match your skills. Find out what skills you need to succeed, the salary you can expect to earn, as well as the career outlook. The free online tools featured below are all great ways to begin your own personal career exploration. Other ways to learn about possible careers include talking with your school counselor or teachers, participating in a job shadow or two where you shadow a professional in the career for a few hours, or working a part-time job.
There are many helpful career planning online portfolio tools you may wish to use. In addition to the ones listed below, check with your school counseling office to see what tools they may have to assist you.
ACT Profile– Education and Career Planning
ACT has created a new tool to help students navigate their college process. Their Education and Career Planning section provides college and career planning, a chance to explore the ways that occupations relate to each other with their World-of-Work Map, and guidance about paying for college and financial aid. This site is currently in beta form.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you find career information on duties, education and training, pay, and outlook for hundreds of occupations. Learn all about the occupations you find interesting. You can read about the nature of the work, education and training requirements, advancement opportunities, employment, salary, and ten-year job outlook for hundreds of occupations. The Handbook also lists related occupations and sources of additional information.
Use this helpful tool to explore career matches (wages, job growth, skills, and more) by taking a 6- or 60-question strengths assessment that will help you identify your strengths. You’ll then discover majors and in-demand careers and education based on your interests! (Thanks to our colleagues at the Community College System of New Hampshire for providing access to this tool with New Hampshire students, regardless of where you may be thinking of attending college.)
On this site you can search by career and view information such as: average salary, skills needed in that type of work, tools and technologies used in the job, and typical tasks a person in that career must complete. They also have career videos available so that you can watch a person actually going about their daily work activities.
This site allows you to search by a particular occupation or look for careers that utilize particular skills. Once you choose a career the site shows you its outlook for the future as well as the work responsibilities, skills necessary, etc.
This is a great website to visit if you want to be inspired. Watch videos of people in all walks of life (music producers, authors, business men and women, etc.) that were filmed by high school and college students. Those interviewed share their journey to get to where they are, what they love about their career, perhaps what they wished they had done differently. Watch real professionals give honest answers about their career choices.