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How to choose a career

Many students don’t have much time to spend in career planning during their degree course. You may be too busy working to earn money to pay your way through university, or perhaps you are a mature student with a young family that you need to support. These pages will allow you to choose your career and help to grow you professionally.

First let’s look at what factors go into choosing a career:

choose-career-chart


Consider Your Interests

  • Consider your dream career : There is an old saying that if you’re trying to choose a career, you should think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you had a million dollars and you could do anything, what would you do? Your answer to that question, while maybe not literally the best career choice for you, may give you insight into what you should do.

    If you want to be an actor, consider going into media broadcasting. You can get a degree in communications or work your way up the chain of command in a local news or other television studio.

  • Consider your hobbies : It is very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider what you like to do and how that might fit into a career. For example,

    If you like playing video games, consider becoming a video game designer, programmer, or QA specialist.

  • Consider what you enjoy or enjoyed in school : Academic subjects translate well into future careers but may require more schooling than other types of careers. Your favorite class in high school could very well launch you into your future career but you have to be willing to work for it. For example,

    If you loved chemistry, you could look forward to a future career as a lab technician or a pharmacist.

    If you liked English class, consider becoming an editor or a copywriter.


Consider Your Skills

  • Think about what you are or were good at in school. Think about the subjects you excelled in in school. Though it may not be your favorite thing to do, choosing a career based on something you are skilled at can help you excel and provide yourself a secure future.
  • Consider what skills you excel in. If you are particularly good at certain skills, such as fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may or may not be necessary, but skilled labor is often in demand and you will find it fairly easy to find work.
  • Consider your interpersonal skills. If your skills lie more in helping and communicating with other people, there are jobs for you as well. People who communicate and interact with others well can easily get careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business positions.

Consider Your Current State

  • Explore yourself. Figuring out what you should do with your life may sometimes require you to get to know yourself better. If you want a career that will really make you happy, you have to have a very good understanding of what you want and what you enjoy.
  • Consider your financial situation. Your ability to pursue or change careers may hinge on your financial situation. Some career paths require special schooling and this is sometimes expensive. However, you should not feel that being poor bars you from getting the education you want. There are lots of government programs to help you pay for schools, as well as scholarships, grants, and apprenticeship programs.

Consider Your Future

  • Consider the careers you have easy access to. Consider what career options are available for you to easily move into. These would be careers in which you have both the necessary skills and an “in”.
  • Consider your future financial security. One of the most important things to consider is if the career path you’re choosing will provide you with an acceptable level of financial security.
  • Consider your future job stability. It is also important to consider a future career’s stability. Job markets fluctuate as society needs different things at different times. Certain jobs are also always in demand or frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for you and your desires for the future.
  • Look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook. One way for you to gauge if a career option is a good idea is to look it up in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This is a guide, compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which looks at what kind of education is required for different jobs, how much people in those careers make on average, and how much the demand for that job is likely to increase or decrease.
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