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Tips for Parents: Helping High School Students Choose a Career

Many teens will attend college, but some have not planned for careers. Discover three reasons why helping high school students choose a career is so important!

For most Americans, a job refers to regular employment, resulting in finances to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle. By contrast, a career invigorates the individual, reflecting passion and drive. According to one report, a career is a lifelong journey, with twists and surprises along the way. Whereas a job may be a short-term endeavor, a career shows long-term ambition, which requires training and innovation. Therefore, helping high school students choose a career in the 21st century is an act of love and respect. 

This article will examine three ways that parents can guide their teenager so that the student feels confident in choosing a suitable career:

  • Identify the Student’s Strengths & Skills
  • Encourage the Student to Cultivate New Interests
  • Help the Student Find a Mentor

The Importance of Helping High School Students Choose a Career

When many high school students envision a profession, they typically consider familiar occupations, sometimes overlooking careers in emerging fields. But, many positions today did not exist 10 years ago, including app developer, social media manager, cloud computing services, elder care specialist, educational or admissions consultant, and sustainability expert. And, nearly every field has benefitted from exciting innovations. Thus, parents can help their high school students choose a career from a wide range of exciting options.

Since a lasting career thrives on passion and personal interest, wise students will gravitate to fields that they love.

Employees who do not follow their passion often experience more, unnecessary vocational change; over the course of a lifetime, the individual may change jobs 12 times.

Consequently, it becomes increasingly important to help high school students research and choose prospective careers that maximize their strengths and skills.

1.    Identify the Student’s Strengths & Skills

Most successful professionals lead from their strength; in other words, they understand their gifts, aptitudes, and skills. Subsequently, they also recognize blind spots, so when they encounter a challenge they cannot meet with confidence, they acknowledge their limitations and ask for assistance or advice.

Thus, helping high school students choose a career starts with asking a few important questions:

  • In your opinion, which academic subjects showcase your natural gifts and skills?
  • Generally, do you enjoy creative outlets, or do you prefer structured analytic assignments?
  • For the most part, do you like to work independently, or do you tend to gravitate towards team projects?
  • Given your interests and abilities, where do you see yourself making a difference in the community?

According to one report, students who desire purposeful careers, “exhibit high degrees of persistence, resourcefulness, resilience, and capacity for healthy risk taking.”

By evaluating a student’s strengths and skills, parents can initiate conversations that help the student pinpoint societal needs and begin to envision a real-world contribution.

As a private school, Marlborough encourages students and parents to meet with our college guidance counselors. These experts assist students as they consider college and career options, thus fostering self-awareness, goal setting, and independence as students prepare for the next stage of life.

Moreover, Marlborough’s innovative courses ready students for a changing world, including:

  • Statistics and Probability with Applications incorporates variability, randomness, and probability, as well as a software program that facilitates data analysis. Already, many professions require skills that lead to objective interpretations or applications of data.
  • Computer Programming, Computer Science Projects, and Computer Science Projects Honors attract students with an interest in coding and technology. Whether students work independently or with a team, participants build communication skills as they enhance their appreciation for evolving technologies, such as computer graphics, interactive art, web development, and video games.
  • Biological Psychology invites high schoolers to study the connections between the human brain, the nervous system, and behavior, including sensation, dreams, language, memory, and emotional or physical health.
  • Honors Humanities Seminar: Theories & Politics of Race, Contemporary Asian Studies, or Presidential Elections appeal to students who want to learn the past so they can address current socio-economic, ethical, and political trends.

2.    Encourage the Student to Cultivate New Interests

As high school students contemplate possible career paths, they should cultivate new interests that help them develop marketable skills. For instance, joining a club or participating in team sports can improve active listening, clear and persuasive speech, leadership and organizational skills, empathy, and critical thinking.

To launch a 21st-century career, students will need to exhibit integrity, flexibility, grit, discernment, and a willingness to adapt. Therefore, student-run activities or school-sponsored athletics often provide the support teens need to help them choose an appropriate career after they graduate college.

At Marlborough, students can enroll in cutting-edge courses that challenge them to invest the time and energy to reach their potential. Additionally, our students participate in various clubs, organizations, and athletic teams that nurture cooperation, loyalty, friendship, and service, empowering them to succeed in life.

  • For instance, many of our students sign up for our award-winning Robotics class, whereas others decide to join the Remote Car Club. In both cases, students expand their knowledge of mathematics, engineering, computer science, time management, communication, and collaboration, all of which are vital to the workplace.

  • Similarly, qualified students can enroll in our Honors Capstone in Entrepreneurship, which functions like an internship, with students launching a product or service to a target market. On the other hand, students may opt to participate in The Entrepreneurship Club or The Investment Club. Indeed, these endeavors stretch students and equip them to follow proven business models, from ideation to design and testing, from team building to budgeting and pitch proposal.

  •  At Marlborough, student athletes can choose from 12 different sports, with 33 teams, including basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. By competing in athletics, students build stamina and agility, while developing camaraderie and leadership — valuable skills that translate easily to any career.

3.    Help the Student Find a Mentor

Sometimes, a mentor’s final piece of advice is the deciding factor that prompts an individual to pursue a dream. Effective mentors build relationships and provide insight, drawing from their own experience and helping the high school student find the best career path.

Since its beginning, Marlborough has employed some of the nation’s best teachers, and our students view these educators as role models and allies. In addition, the school has partnered with experts from diverse fields, inviting them to come alongside the students as guides.

  • For instance, each of our Capstone Honors Projects connects high school students with mentors who advise and motivate them to achieve their goals. Whether the student aspires to a career in social justice, the arts, or entrepreneurship, mentors inspire students, helping them develop resoluteness, confidence, and experience.

Why Choose Marlborough?  

Marlborough serves girls in grades 7 through 12. As a private, college-preparatory secondary school, we are conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles, California.

Our goal is to ignite intellectual inquiry and to build the problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills that our students will need to innovate, invent, and lead in college and beyond.

Next Steps

If you want your daughter to become a curious, agile thinker, consider Marlborough. Our outstanding program prepares young people for college while helping high school students choose a career.

Want to know more about the Marlborough experience? 

Contact us today!

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