Do you have dreams of becoming an IT guru? Or maybe a commercial airline pilot? Whatever your dreams for your career, do you know how to make them a reality? It may involve going to college to find a major that fits your interests, or it may involve earning a certificate, degree, or diploma from a career college or technical school that will train you for a specific career or trade right out of high school. These schools train students for a variety of jobs such as automotive technician, computer technician, hair stylist, truck driver, medical assistant, pre-school teacher, or legal assistant. Whether you plan on technical school, college, or another option, these tips can help you take your first steps on a long, successful, and satisfying career path:
- Get to know yourself. What are your interests and hobbies? What are your skills? What do you enjoy doing? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Get to know your career options. What types of jobs match up with your interests and skills? What kinds of jobs are available in your community?
- Research your options. Do they match up with your wants and needs? Think about things like the hours, pay, and work environment before you decide if a career is right for you. Whenever possible, talk to someone who already works in the field that interests you. He or she knows what the job is truly like.
- Develop a plan. Once you decide what you'd like to do, find out what training or education you need to make getting that perfect job possible.
- Compare programs. Once you have narrowed down your search, ask yourself questions that will help you compare the schools: What is the cost? What do I end up with at the end of the training? How successful are the graduates? What type of environment will I train in? With what tools?
- Do your homework. If you decide to attend a trade school or technical school, make sure you check out the school's reputation. Before you enroll, you can find out if the school is accredited or licensed by a government agency to see whether it's in good standing and well-respected.
- Take action. Enroll in the necessary program, create a résumé, or apply for the job.
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!