How teachers can help students explore their career options

As your students approach the end of their schooling, it is important for them to know that there are a variety of career options and pathways that they can take. To ensure that your students are aware of their choices, we’ve explored the influence you can have to help students explore their career options.

Help students identify what subjects they are good at and enjoy

By helping students identify what subjects they are good at, they can begin to explore relevant career options. Suggest researching career options that relate to their best performing subjects. This is because when a student succeeds in a subject, this usually means they already have an interest in it. This can lead to potential interest in related careers. For example, a student who succeeds in Advanced English and enjoys writing could suit studying Journalism. As the saying goes, “if you find a job that you enjoy and succeed in, you’ll never work a day in your life”. Students who can identify their strengths & interests are more likely to be enthusiastic about the next stage of their life. Showing interest is the first sign they will find a career option that suits them best.

On the contrary, helping students to identify what areas they lack skills will help guide their career choices. This way, they can focus on more valuable & suitable options.

Inform students of career options besides university

Although attending university is a highly valuable study path, it does not suit everyone. By explaining to students that they have options besides university, you are allowing them to make decisions for themselves. Helping students make decisions based on their sense of self and direction will promote their growth and development. As a teacher, you should support your students in leaving school by helping to identify their strengths & weaknesses. Aim to provide them with an encouraging push in the right direction rather than placing pressure on their shoulders.

In an evolving and innovative workforce, students now have more opportunity to achieve their career goals. They may choose to pursue a VET course whilst at school, TAFE, an apprenticeship, a traineeship, internship, a short online course, trial multiple jobs, go to college or university. There are many opportunities available.

Encourage students to research career options

As students enter their senior years of schooling and approach the beginning of their career journey, it is important that teachers encourage and support students. Encourage students to research career options and pathways, as well as industries that they are interested in. This research can be conducted widely through school via school organised open days and student work placement programs. The Youth Partnership facilitates a work placement program, with many benefits to students, including putting their classroom learning skills into practice.

In addition, teachers should encourage students to research careers through external open days. General unpaid work experience opportunities during school holidays and paid casual or part-time jobs also offer a great introduction into the workforce. Students can also participate in online job quizzes sub as Job Outlook, that can provide them with suggested career options based on their personality and interests. In doing so, students will learn more about their career choices,. Furthermore, this allows them to explore in depth their career options.

Encourage parents to get involved

Although teachers can assist students in exploring their career options, parents are the most significant influence when it comes to students career pathways. If parents understand the difference between options such as TAFE, university, & apprenticeships, they may be able to assist students make the best decision for them. By encouraging parents to become positively involved in the decision-making process, they can provide support to their child no matter what path they decide on.

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