How to Research Careers
- If you have no idea of what you are interested in, you can start with interest inventories. Classroom guidance lessons often incorporate Missouri Connections, a website that provides a wealth of career information to students. Students will take interest inventories at least three times during their time in high school. Students have login names and passwords to access the Missouri Connections website to take additional tests at home.
- Start broad! Research all of the careers in a certain category that you match with. You might find a job that you had never heard of before that interests you.
- Think outside of the box. Many people believe that you “have” to go to college to be successful, but that is not always the case. Consider trade schools or programs- the trades will be experiencing a growth in job opportunities with salaries beginning around $50,000 per year right out of high school. Trade careers include Plumber, Electrician, Welder, Industrial Machinery Mechanic, Brick Mason, HVAC Technician, and more.
- Curious about the future growth of a career? Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook website at bls.gov/ooh/. You can search careers based on their median pay, required education/training, and job outlook. Job outlooks range from “Decline” meaning there will be less jobs available in the field to “Much Faster Than Average” meaning there will be a big demand for employees in that field. It is important to consider this when looking for a job, as market trends and changes in technology are making some careers irrelevant.
- Take advantage of opportunities to try out the job that you are interested in. Join relevant clubs, take related classes, look for part-time jobs, internships, or job shadowing opportunities. It is better to find out early on that you don’t like something about your dream job. That will save you both time and money on college or job training.
- Once you have a career in mind, start creating your academic plan. An academic plan should address any classes that you need to take, any qualifications, skills, or abilities that you need to master, any deadlines to be aware of, and any additional relevant information. You will then use this academic plan to start your college search.
Missouri Connections: https://portal.missouriconnections.org/