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Career Planning

Introduction

Choosing the right career is very important.  It can also be very confusing.  There are thousands of careers from which to choose, and many different ways in which to prepare.  Using the resources from this website, as well as career exploration activities will help you sort through your career and educational choices.  SHS Guidance and Career Center is committed to aiding in helping you choose a potential career path and receive the education and training you need to become successful in that career.

Part I--Choosing a Career

In order to choose a career that is a good match for you, you must first take a look at who you are through a variety of activities, which help you to identify your interests, aptitudes, abilities, and values.  You must choose a career that is going to be a good match for you!

Once you have identified a career area in which you are interested, take time to learn as much as you can about the careers in that field by reading books, magazines, and doing research.  You can also learn a tremendous amount of information about a career by talking to those who work in that career area.  Finally, the best way to learn about a career is to gain first-hand experience through activities such as job shadowing, apprenticeships, and cooperative education.

Part II--Evaluating Your Educational Choices

Approximately 80% of all careers require education and training beyond a high school education.  You can begin preparing for a career while in high school.  Sylacauga High School is proud to offer a variety of career and technical education programs that allow you to "learn by doing" through the following programs:  Manufacturing and STEM, Business Management and Administration, Health Sciences, and Human Services.

After High School

Community and technical colleges  provide affordable, career-oriented programs that enable students to begin their careers after two years of college of less.  Students can complete programs to receive certificates or diplomas.  Students who complete a two-year program earn an associate's degree.  You can start at a community or technical college and then transfer to a four-year institution.

Career schools offer short-term training in a wide variety of career fields.  While some programs last only a few weeks, others can take up to two years to complete.  Career schools usually accept any student with a high school diploma.

A four-year college or university  education can open doors and prepare students for financially rewarding careers.  While all colleges hope to attract bright, well-prepared students, colleges vary greatly in their size, cost, and admission requirements, and in the majors they offer.

The military  offers qualified applicants a good salary, benefits, and free job training.  The military also provides discipline and structure, as well as opportunities for career advancement and travel.  The military offers training in more than 2,000 jobs, many of which have civilian counterparts.

Part III--Making a Career Plan

In order to make an effective plan, you must have a goal in mind.  Next, you must determine what is needed to achieve that goal. 

Sometimes when people are confused about what to do, they do nothing.  They decide to just wait and see what "comes along."  These people later realize that doing nothing is in itself a choice, and that very seldom does anything worthwhile just "come along."

Things happen for people who make them happen.  Take control of your life, make a plan, and work hard.  You are sure to find both happiness and success!


*Excerpts taken from Career Planning and Educational Choices by Linda O'Brien.