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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Programs for Career Exploration

by Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS

With half of college students changing their majors, many of them adding one or more years to their path to a bachelors degree and about $50,000 of dollars to the cost for each extra year it takes, it is very important that students take time during the high school years to explore possible careers.  Having clear goals enables teens to be able to identify and seek majors and programs that will prepare them for work in the field they have identified.
The Boy Scout program offers 137 merit badges, many of which are designed to allow Scouts to explore various careers.  Some examples are welding, landscape architecture, robotics, animal science, astronomy, automotive maintenance, engineering, entrepreneurship, soil and water conservation, game design, cooking, environmental science, sustainability, graphic arts, crime prevention and computing, medicine, moviemaking, nuclear science, oceanography, plumbing, public health, fish and wildlife management. Additionally, once the Scout has attained the Life rank he or she can organize and lead an Eagle project.

Some high schools have DECA groups.  The mission of DECA is to prepare emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.  Some of the DECA program happens in the classroom, some happens in applied learning situations.  DECA hosts competitions in business administration, team decision making, personal finance literacy, business operations research, entrepreneurship, marketing, professional selling and consulting.

Girl Scouts also offers some career exploration opportunities in their badges: engineering, computer science, space science, robotics, mechanical engineering, financial literacy, healthy relationships, car care, textile arts, website designer, novel writing, business etiquette, programming and designing robots, ecology, government, cooking, jeweler, and photography.

Junior Achievement also offers Biztown experiences and classes which allow young people to explore various business roles including store owner, entrepreneur, and financial professional.