Ignite Student Passions Through Career Exploration

August 28, 2019
Written by:
Guest Author

Sponsored by Laurel Springs School.

Inspiring students to explore the pathway to their future beyond the classroom increases opportunities for college readiness, as well as gives them a competitive edge. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts that enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions is projected to increase by 13 percent by 2026. This means that more graduates will be entering the workforce while competing for the same jobs.  Additionally, many graduates are accepting jobs out of college that don’t equal the skills and abilities they learned from pursuing their degree – a term known as underemployed. Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Burning Glass Technologies report that as many as 65% are underemployed in their first job.

How can students be prepared for their first job out of college that will ultimately shape their career?

Learning what interests them as early as high school can assist in their decision making. An industry-focused curriculum pathway enhances a student’s academic experience and helps them make progress toward their ultimate professional destination.

Here are a few tips to get students started on their path:

  • Help them Discover their Interests 

Understanding the subjects and hobbies that interest them is a great start. Allowing students to engage their passions at a deeper level while making meaningful progress toward achieving career goals will set students up for success, all before setting foot inside a college classroom.  The U.S. Department of Labor offers O*NET Interest Profile, a resource in discovering student interests and career exploration.

  • Gain Experience

Internships and job shadowing offer a glimpse into careers of interest.  Experience offers students an appreciation for a job that interests them in addition to gaining valuable resume building skills.   Check out 14 awesome internships for high school students here.  Additionally, other activities such as taking an active role in student-led clubs or volunteering in the community can boost experience and demonstrate motivation to postsecondary schools, as well as future employers. 

  • Building their Personal Brand

Not all career exploration needs to be about experience and interests.  Students also need to start habits early on that will transcend into adulthood.  Self-advocacy skills such as taking responsibility for their school work and communicating with teachers about a project are examples.  Additionally, social media can be a tool for success if used responsibly. As potential representatives of an organization in the future, how they present themselves online now can impact their future.

Laurel Springs School is excited to offer industry-focused curriculum pathways through our new program, Find Your Drive.  Find Your Drive allows students to engage their passions at a deeper level while making meaningful progress toward achieving career goals – all before setting foot inside a college classroom.  Students can consider taking one course in an area of interest or follow our course progressions on their path to graduation. We encourage you and your child to explore Find Your Drive and learn more about the pathways of interest.  Contact our Admissions team today to get started.