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Why you Need a Career Plan before College and How to do So

Updated on August 4, 2015

Introduction

The problem with the United States education system is that it does not prepare people for particular jobs. Furthermore, a college degree has become so commonplace that it no longer differentiates one from the pack of potential employees. Instead of relying on the education system to function properly, we need to prepare for the specific jobs we desire on our own.

However, selecting a career path is daunting to high school graduates because they still have no idea what is out there. But having a plan is not impossible. In Germany, most high school students have a career plan and even prepare for their particular plan in high school. This article will help produce a reliable career plan for you before you waste time and money in college.

Aptitude Tests

Oh, the dreaded aptitude tests. Before you get too scared to take these tests that determine which careers are best for you, take a deep breath and try to understand that these tests do not involve any commitment to a particular job. If you do not like the results, then simply ignore the test and find a career path on your own. Yet, aptitude tests can help you to find a few career options that you may be interested in. Overall, do not fear aptitude tests because they merely give you options and surely do not predict your destiny. Here is a nice aptitude test for those who have no idea what they want to do: http://www.yourfreecareertest.com/

Study

If you have any career options in mind now, you must study them to know if they are right for you. First of all, write a list of the careers you may ever consider doing (remember: this is not a commitment). Afterwards, study the education level needed, average salary, and unemployment rate of these careers and write them down. The level of education needed may vary by state; so, be sure to keep that in mind. Here is a website that you can search average job salaries: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Salary

Once you have all this information, toss out the jobs that you now see as unacceptable. Your list should be considerably shorter and now you can move on to further study. A useful, but rarely used, way to find which career you might like is to go on

http://www.indeed.com/,

http://www.careerbuilder.com/, or http://www.monster.com/.

All you have to do is simply type the career in the search bar and then you should get results all over the United States. Then, click on the jobs and read what their requirements and job descriptions are. This will tell you exactly what the employers are looking for when hiring for that job and also exactly what you need to do in order to get that job. These tools should narrow down your list and help you understand exactly how to prepare for specific career paths.

Shadowing/Experience

In order to truly know what job is best for you, it would benefit to participate in or observe careers in person. If you may want to be a lawyer, contact a local lawyer through email and ask to shadow him or her on the job. It may be awkward, but you will be surprised at how excited and motivated people will get when you show an interest in their career; therefore, they will likely be very helpful and nice.

If the shadowing ordeal is not necessary and you already know what career you might want, then go onwards into an entry-level position in that field. If no relatable entry-level positions are available, then you can always go for an internship – even if it is unpaid. Experience is a key component to acquiring the careers you desire, so do not falter.

College

Notice how college is the last step of the process? That is because you should already know and have experience with what you want to do before moving on to a professional education. Most people go through college as if it was a time of exploration. While the partying and freedom is fun and all, you do not want to constantly switch your majors or be unprepared for your career like a lot of college students are.

Remember that, in college, you are studying for a particular career, not for a major. Ensure that you take the classes you need to even if they do not directly go with your degree requirements. And, with that, you should be set on your career path; just make sure that you do not stray.

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