Career Planning Tools and Resources for High School Students

career planning

Career readiness is an essential part of high school education and curriculum. However, it is often overlooked. Surveys show that 45% of high school students feel ill-prepared for college or a career upon graduation. School administrators and educators are responsible for equipping students with the knowledge, tools, and understanding they need to navigate the complexity of their future career opportunities. By providing high school students with access to career planning tools and resources, we can empower them to make informed decisions about their futures. Let’s look at some strategies schools can use to instill career planning and readiness in high school students.

Understanding Career Planning 

Career planning is an educational discipline that focuses on helping students identify potential careers and occupations that match their interests, strengths, skills, and goals. When done effectively, this process exposes students to a wide range of industries, occupations, and professionals, guiding them in their search for an appropriate career.

Career planning has three main components: self-exploration, occupational exploration, and educational planning. Self-exploration examines a student’s skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals, laying the groundwork for the other components. Schools can foster self-exploration through various means, including mentorships, career assessment tools, and encouraging personal goal setting. 

Occupational exploration allows students to look at different career opportunities and get a real sense of different occupations. Schools can guide students through this process through career exploration courses, workshops, and seminars. 

The final component of career planning occurs after a student has a better idea of their chosen field. Schools have a responsibility to help students identify educational opportunities that align with their chosen industry or career path. Recommending college programs, finding internships, and offering career-prep certifications are ways schools can set high school students on a path to success in their future careers.

Overview of Career Planning Tools and Resources

Schools can use various strategies to integrate career planning tools and resources into their curriculum and engage students in the career planning process. 

Career Assessment Tools

Various digital career assessment tools are available for schools to distribute to students. These assessments analyze students’ interests, strengths, lifestyles, and goals to recommend career paths that align with these factors. These assessments can help students identify careers they have an aptitude for, guiding them further in the career planning process. However, it is essential to note that career assessment tools should be used only as a guide, not a definitive rule. The results of these assessments should be used purely for exploration, not as the deciding factor when choosing a career.

Career Exploration Workshops

Career seminars and workshops can also be hosted with the support of community professionals. Schools can invite various local business owners and professionals to talk with students about career opportunities and give students a glimpse into different careers. 

Schools can offer more hands-on resources to help students explore various occupations in conjunction with the workshops. Resources like books, articles, and videos can help students objectively understand multiple industries and careers.

Career Exploration in the Classroom

Through professional development seminars, schools can encourage educators to incorporate career exploration in the classroom. For example, English classes can incorporate career-related writing assignments, like a research paper on a particular industry. Additionally, math classes can explore the application of math in various professions. Science classes can connect lab assignments to different STEM careers, helping students connect their high school education to various potential careers. This exploration can assist students in their career understanding, helping them make informed career decisions.

Career-Prep Certifications

Schools can effectively prepare students for the future of work by offering certifications in various STEM-focused activities. Preparing students for certifications in Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, entrepreneurship, LEED Green Building, and more can improve their career readiness, helping them feel more at ease going into the workforce.

Internships and Apprenticeships

Internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing opportunities give students hands-on experiences in work environments that interest them. Schools can create these opportunities by building community support and connecting students with community businesses and government units. These opportunities facilitate student networking, allowing them to build relationships with professionals in their desired field or industry.

In conclusion, the combined effort of school boards, administrators, educators, parents, and community partners can encourage students to fully engage with career planning. Through various career planning tools and resources, these groups can set students up for success as they head into their futures.

Promoting Career Planning in High Schoolers

Are you ready to revolutionize career readiness education in your high school or school district? Look no further than 21st Cent Ed. Unlike traditional Ed Tech companies that impose rigid structures and systems, 21st Cent Ed takes a consultative and collaborative approach, tailoring career readiness programs to the unique needs of each district and school. With a focus on developing necessary STEM skills in students, 21st Cent Ed can help you unlock the full promise of career readiness education for your students. Schedule a discovery call today!

About 21stCentEd

At 21stCentEd, a strong tomorrow is what we’re all about. We’ve been deeply invested in creating interactive STEM tools for kids for many years.