In a previous series of posts called “Starting Your Potential Lists of Colleges/Programs…,” I featured several ways to identify potential education and training opportunities beyond the high school level. These steps included word of mouth, rankings and just plain browsing.
One approach is to identify the career or jobs you want, then choose a school, program, apprenticeship, etc. that will prepare you to do that. Whether you are in junior high school or have worked for 20 years, here are some factors to consider:
- Your skills (or what you are good at doing)
- What you enjoy doing
- Salaries or money making opportunities
- Length of training
- How you want to impact the world
- Who you want to help
- Job opportunities (e.g., Is this a growth industry? Are their jobs in your town?)
- Work environments (e.g., mostly outdoors, safety policies or diversity)
- Eco-friendly / family-friendly / “fill-in-the-blank friendly” focus
MANY websites have information about jobs and careers. So MANY, that it can be overwhelming and a bit confusing. Here is one tip for evaluating a site. Note who sponsors the site, which is usually described on an “About” page. Sponsorship is one clue on whether or not the information might favor particular jobs or industries over others…which is perfectly ok, as long as you know that up front.
Need a place to start…other than a general search? Whatever you think of the federal government, these resources seem to offer a wide variety of opportunities and information at the national and local levels and for career-seekers of all ages.
- American Job Center: Explore Careers
- CareerOneStop: Students and Career Advisors
- My Next Move: What do you want to do for a living?
Another great source is the careers section of a university or academic institution. Some general tips or links to databases may be available to the general public.