Career Exploration
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  1. #1
    dkochhar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Career Exploration

    Hi!,

    Thanks for reading this post.

    Once kids are in high school age, there comes a big decision on which career path to take and may be also pick a college accordingly.

    I am wondering what resources kids and parents are using to make a more informed decision on which career path is right for the kid. Do you use any software and/or counseling to understand kids strengths and interests, to help shortlist a few career paths? Also, how about job shadowing to know more about a job?

    Let me know your thoughts and how can be kids helped better in this space?

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    Our local community college is very helpful. When my kids turn sixteen, I take them there for the entrance exams (free). This assures us that they are ready for college, or lets us know what they need to work on a bit first.

    All but one has had an idea of what they want to do, so the college counselor helps set them on the right path. The one that wasn't sure took some basic courses until he decided. Being in the college environment and seeing what other students were doing probably helped him make up his mind. He's an electronics engineer now.

    Another decided quickly that college wasn't for her, and she has managed a restaurant for the past ten years. They have all chosen different paths, which is great!

    I did find a test online years ago that was intended to help them decide what career might suit their abilities and interests, but it was minimally helpful.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    dkochhar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    Thanks Kelly for your response.

    Kelly and other parents,

    What I am hearing from a couple of students (home-schooled or not) that they want to experience different careers before making a decision on their career and pick college and major.

    Wondering if other parents/students see the similar needs? And, what options are available out there?

    Thanks again,
    Dushiant Kochhar

  4. #4
    olivia262 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    Thanx for sharing

  5. #5
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    katshu2 is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    My oldest has known that he was going to be a chef since he was 4, and has never wavered. Everything he did was working towards that. Participating in 4H so he could take part in cooking classes and competitions. Classes outside the home (cooking classes, cake decorating classes, even art classes to learn more about colors and balance for food presentation). We live in a larger college town, with lots of opportunities for him. He entered local cook-offs, has made tons of connections, worked with charity organizations, and at 16 started his own food cart business.

    All of that to say, we knew early on college wasn't in his future. There is no 4 year food degree that he's interested in. He graduated from our homeschool last summer and is currently working under a chef in a local restaurant. This fall, he's planning on attending a junior college for some culinary arts and business classes (business classes because he wants his own restaurant one day).

    As far as my youngest goes (he's currently in 8th grade), he has a different career path in mind every year, lol. We are letting him explore as we can, encouraging each path regardless of whether or not we think it will stick. We'll just have to see where his interests take him.

    I'm not familiar with any sort of career aptitude test, but full disclosure...I've never once looked. There was no need for my oldest, and I'd rather see my youngest take a more organic approach to discovering what he wants to do, rather than have an idea in his head because a test told him he might be good at something.

    If you want to explore colleges and possible career paths, I know in my local school system, they still have an annual career fair type event at the high school. College reps, military reps, different types of industry reps, all attend. Maybe you could contact your school board and see about attending?
    Katie
    Coffee drinker, gadget addict, proud geek.
    Accidentally homeschooling since 2005!



  6. #6
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    Hey, Katie, my middle son is a chef, and that's what my current 16-year-old daughter wants to do, too. This is the boy that wouldn't stick a frozen entree in the microwave for himself in middle school.

    He started working in a nice restaurant when he was fifteen and just moved on up. He's still there at age 25, but now he's the chef.

    My daughter, however, wants to attend a culinary school about eighty miles from here. My son pulled a few strings and got her a job as a dishwasher in "his" restaurant and she has been allowed to mix up "vats" of sauce and so forth when the dishes are done, which made her realize that she likes working with food (but NOT dishes!). LOL!

    Another daughter always knew she wanted to be a teacher, which is somewhat odd since she has always been homeschooled. She has one more year to go in college. This will be the "most fun" year, as she will be doing student teaching. She has been a little disappointed that a lot of her education has focused on satisfying bureaucratic requirements, communicating with parents, and maintaining crowd control. She wants to actually teach, because she has always enjoyed learning. We did a lot of hands-on extension things and she feels a little stifled. I don't think she realized she would have to do things "their way", because her teacher (me, Mom!) always did things my own way and often just flew by the seat of my pants. Like, if we were studying ducks, we would grab a sack of bread and head over to the lake. ;D

    Anyway, my point is that a lot of different experiences can affect what our kids decide to "be when they grow up," and probably the most important thing is for them to always have that in the back of their mind. "Would I want to do this every day for the rest of my life?" (Of course, there's nothing wrong with changing your mind either.)

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  7. #7
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    thegaddy5 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Career Exploration

    Hi there! I'm a homeschool mom of 6... my oldest just graduated from university, my second is in university, and my third is in 11th grade doing dual enrollment with a local college. The first one was pretty scarry - but I realized with that experience that it's a simple process.

    - I start with their interests - what do they want from life? what do they love to do? Then we research jobs that align with those interests. Even better - find someone you know that has this job/ career and let your child tag along with them for a day or two. Make sure they ask themselves if this is what they would want to do every day for the rest of their life.
    - Then we research what training they would need to get into that career. It may or may not include college... but find out and make your four year high school plan develop for that goal.

    One thing I've also learned - what they may want to do at 16 may change when they are 25. It's a good idea to make sure that their high school courses are solid and "beefy" enough to get into college if they decide to do so later in life.

    Basically - I just help them to take inventory of their own likes/dislikes and passions, and then guide them to look for work that will allow them to use those strengths every day. Talk about job satisfaction!
    Jamie
    Mother of six- homeschooling healthy with MOMSCHOOL
    Online Education for Kids and Homeschool Online

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