How To Choose A Career After High School? 12 Tips

Selecting the right career is not easy, as this path will determine whether we are happy or successful. There are so many options, and the future is uncertain; hence, disorientation may come easily.

This guide offers a practical checklist to help one know how to choose a career after high school. Going through these stages will lead to self-discovery, exploring different options, and choosing what best suits one’s future. Let’s begin!

Exploring Your Interests, Skills and Potential Career Paths

Choosing a career after high school can become overwhelming, but first, consider what type of person you are. Asking these basic questions might help stimulate some potential career ideas.

  • Which subjects did you like at school?
  • Would you rather work with animals (veterinarian, animal trainer) or create art (graphic designer, animator)?
  • Consider your strengths – do they lie more in analytic skills (data analyst, accountant) or creative abilities (writer, musician)?
  • Consider activities that fill your heart – are they all about research work (scientist, historian) or helping others (social worker, teacher)?

For example, if you enjoy writing and have great communication skills, try journalism or technical writing instead.

Research Different Industries and Occupations

Once you have a general idea of your interests, delve deeper. Research different industries that align with your findings.

If you like working with animals, veterinary medicine, animal training, or marine biology may be worth considering. Find out about various jobs in those fields. Consider the work settings, daily tasks, and competencies demanded by each of these jobs.

Volunteer and Gain Hands-On Experience

Nothing can replace real-world involvement.

Volunteering at an animal shelter if you’re interested in veterinary medicine or interning at a marketing agency if you’re drawn to graphic design can provide valuable insights into these fields. These experiences can confirm your interest or help you discover a new path.

Volunteer and Gain Hands-On Experience

Talk to professionals in your areas of interest to gain their perspectives and learn about their career journeys. For instance, shadowing a doctor will allow you to experience the medical profession, while spending time at a nearby community garden can give insights into farming or horticulture.

Explore Educational Pathways

Many careers require specific degrees or certifications. Research possible educational paths for your intended career pathway. Consult an academic adviser, teacher or someone practising in your dream occupation to know what qualifications and preparatory education are needed.

Think about all the many options you have, for instance, four-year universities, community colleges, online programmes, or apprenticeships, and select the one that suits your learning style and goals better.

Network and Seek Mentorship

Talking to professionals in fields of interest is a great way to gain insight. Reach out to family, friends, teachers, or school counsellors to connect with professionals willing to chat or offer job shadowing opportunities.

Network and Seek Mentorship

If you are interested in engineering, try asking the local civil engineer to discuss the everyday issues they deal with and explain which specific skills are necessary to solve those problems. This kind of thing can either set up careers or completely change one’s direction.

Also, look for industry associations or professional organisations offering mentorship programmes for high school students.

Consider Future Job Outlook and Trends

The job market is constantly evolving. Information on future job outlook and trends can help people make informed decisions about careers that align with their interests and offer strong future prospects.

For instance, it is predicted that there will be a much faster employment growth rate for cybersecurity experts than for other professions. In contrast, certain factory jobs may disappear due to automation.

Consider Your High Schooler’s Academic Strength

Analysing your academic performance can offer clues about potential career paths. Do you excel in science and maths? Engineering or research might be a good fit. Are you drawn to literature and writing? Careers in communications or education could be a match.

Define Academic Strength

Strengths in foreign languages could open doors to international business or translation work. However, academic strengths shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor. It’s important to consider your interests and passions as well.

If your heart is set on a creative field but your grades are strongest in maths, there might be a way to bridge the gap. For example, they could explore careers in graphic design or animation, which often combine technical skills with artistic talent.

Consider Your Finances

When it comes to how to choose a career after high school, one must consider the financial implications of different career paths.

Some professions, like medicine or law, require extensive education and may lead to higher salaries, while others, such as cosmetology or carpentry, offer lower upfront costs but might have lower earning potential.

Learning about scholarships, grants, and student loan options can help you understand the financial investment required for different educational paths. Exploring community colleges or trade schools can also be a budget-conscious choice for obtaining valuable job skills in fields with good job outlooks.

Set SMART Goals and Create a Career Plan

Don’t know where to start when trying to figure out how to choose a career after high school? Try setting SMART goals for yourself first.

Exploring your interests would be made easier by setting your target Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals.

For example, “Research 3 careers in healthcare by next month to identify which best suits my interests in science and helping others.”

Once you have some potential careers in mind, develop a plan to explore them further. This might include job shadowing a doctor or scheduling informational interviews with professionals in your areas of interest.

Explore Job Shadowing and Internship Opportunities

Job shadowing allows you to follow a professional for a day, observing their work environment and tasks. Look for shadowing opportunities with professionals in your areas of interest, such as a veterinarian, if you’re considering animal science.

Internships also provide hands-on experience in a specific field. Consider contacting local businesses or organisations related to your interests to inquire about internship possibilities.

Utilise Online Resources for Career Exploration

Numerous online resources can help you choose a career after high school. Investigate career planning sites like LinkedIn Learning, the Occupational Information Network (ONET) or My Next Move by the U.S. Department of Labor to learn about different careers, their job descriptions, and the skills needed to perform them.

You can also take online career assessments to identify your strengths and interests. Many universities and colleges offer free career exploration quizzes that can help you discover potential career paths that align with your natural talents and personality.

Attend Career Exploration Events and Workshops

Other methods of educating students about careers include school-based sessions and community-sponsored activities. Through such events, one may seek to gain knowledge on various jobs, interact with professionals as well as learn more about how employment is done.

If you are interested in computer science, coding workshops or writing workshops for communication fields are some of the best skills acquisition platforms for learning new interests.

By being actively involved in these activities, it becomes easy for you to get information that is useful in making decisions about what paths to follow when choosing a career.

UNIS Hanoi’s Academic Programme for High School Students

UNIS Hanoi’s high school programme goes beyond the conventional curriculum and offers three pathways:

  1. UNIS Hanoi High School Diploma and the IB Diploma: It allows graduates access to higher institutions globally. When choosing DP courses, you must consider more than just what subjects you like or which ones you excel in. Also, think about your future goals, such as university prerequisites and possible careers.
  2. UNIS Hanoi High School Diploma and IB Courses: The programme allows students to combine a UNIS Hanoi diploma with an International Baccalaureate transcript. In this regard, students may select exams from the IB Diploma programme lists.
  3. UNIS Hanoi High School Diploma: This curriculum guarantees that you will get a UNIS Hanoi High School Diploma, which CIS and WASC globally recognise. It offers you everything needed for success at any university worldwide.

UNIS Hanoi’s educational philosophy embraces creating an active international learning community where learners can develop critical thinking skills, aspire to become lifelong learners, and act as responsible global citizens. For further information, read more about how UNIS Hanoi will enhance your child’s academic journey through STEM, IB, or other Shape Future programmes.

  • The IB Diploma Programme (DP): This is a respected pre-university programme preparing students for university success. The DP’s focus on critical thinking allows them to excel at higher education. With experienced guidance counsellors at UNIS Hanoi, your career orientation will be much smoother.
  • Counselling and Support: New students’ transition is supported by UNIS Hanoi. College counsellors support students in their academics, university applications, and well-being. Also provided a buddy system to help integrate new students and make friends.

A Final Note on Choosing Your Career Path with UNIS Hanoi

How to choose a career after high school can feel overwhelming, but by following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a fulfilling future.

As you explore your options, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to adjust your course as you learn more about yourself and the vast possibilities that await.

Are you ready for action? UNIS Hanoi has an amazing future for your child. The IB programme enhances critical thinking and communication skills, whereas the diverse community promotes global perspectives. Take the first step on UNIS Hanoi – apply to the international school in Hanoi today!

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UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Communication Team
UNIS Hanoi is ever-evolving, but one thing that remains is our passion to nurture and equip students to be agents of change for a better world.
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