Career Exploration

 

A Cyclical Process

Career exploration is a cyclical process. By exploring who we are in relation to the world of work, we discover more about ourselves and thus need to re-examine the world of work possibilities from this new perspective. Ongoing research, self-reflection, networking and work experience will help you get clear about what type of work is a "fit" for you and what kind of post-secondary (after high school) education or training will be needed to achieve your career goals. Although it can take some time and effort, you are 100% worth it. Besides, digging into some career research today could save a lot of time and money later! Include your friends, family, and school guidance counselors in the process to make the process easier and more fun.

 

CAREER EXPLORATION Tools & Resources:

Career Readiness Checklists by Grade

The most up-to-date and user-friendly versions of these checklists can be found below. These checklists can be used by students (and not just high school students) to get prepared to make an informed career/education decision and more successfully navigate the world of work. These lists can also be used by parents and school staff to help youth get more "career ready". Each list includes grade-appropriate lists as well as directions and links to resources, which will help youth complete each step.  The items included in these checklists is consistent with the timing of activities in MassHireCIS, to allow for a more seemless user experience. This tool can be used in a variety of ways by different parties: 1) By students to get ready achieve a host of work-based learning and career development milestones- independently and/or with direct support;  2) By parents involved in their child/ren’s career development and education / career planning;  3) By schools to guide students to create MyCAPS (My Career and Academic Plans” / aka. ILPs / 4- or 6-year plans);  4) By schools for planning purposes; and  5) as a task-oriented or goal-centered approach to getting more familiar with MassHireCIS features and FHyouth.org resources.

Labor Market Information (LMI) Comparison Table

This table will help you find the information needed to really make an informed decision about your career and education path.  It will also help youth see what information is missing and what information still needs to be researched before committing to an education and career path.  (This document will print best on 8 1/2 by 14 inch sheet of paper. Even better, use an electronic copy in order to expand fields as you use it.) 

Holyoke Community College's (FREE!) Transition to College and Careers (TCC) Program 

Transition to College & Careers (TCC) is a free non-credit program offered both days and evenings that helps adult students 18+ prepare for college and identify a career path. The program includes intensive academic preparation in English reading and writing, math, study strategies, and computer in a college context. We offer college navigation, career advising, and tutoring in an environment conducive to learning.

MassCIS (Mass Career Information System) - Advanced career exploration and management tools

A free online college/career exploration, portfolio, planning and management tool, which includes recorded real-world interviews about occupations, occupational profiles, labor market information (LMI), career/interest surveys, college / concentration information, financial aid information, and more.

O*NET Online

O*NET OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work, including LMI data from the U.S. Labor Department.

My Next Move (by O-NET) - Quick & easy career exploration

A very direct and user friendly career exploration tool where you can search for careers using a key word, a scroll down menu of industries, or by indicating what you like to do (aka taking the O-NET Interest Profiler).

MyBestBets - Make informed decisions about your future

According to MyBestBests by Jobs for the Future, this online tool is "cutting edge - both in combining and presenting personal and labor market data in highly engaging ways and in supporting a blended learning approach that deepens their relationship with their advisors or counselors.

MEFA Pathways / The NEW YourPlanForTheFuture - Advanced college exploration tools

A web portal designed to help Massachusetts students (grades 6-12) manage their educational and career pathways. It provides students with one central planning site where they can organize their academic information, get free test-prep tutorials, research schools, track applications, apply for financial aid, and more.

Career One Stop - Job listings, career exploration, & local career center information

An online career exploration and job search site, which can also help you locate your local Career Center.

Career Village - Online career advice

Connecting Professionals to Students for Online Career Advice.  What if we could promise every student in the world that we could get them the answer to any question about any career, from real-life professionals speaking from real-life experience? Our web platform matches the career questions students ask to our volunteer corps of over 15,000 working professionals with relevant expertise and a wealth of experiences to share. The advice students get is tailored for them. It’s reliable, encouraging, and inspirational.

The Career Project - Interviews of professionals about their work

Free career resources and a database of thousands of real-world career profiles, where professionals answer questions commonly asked during informationl interviews. Learning more about what it is like to work in a given career from people in the field can help get more prepared to land that first job and/or get on the right track for long-term career success.

Dr. Kit's Career Interview Vidoes - Over 300!

According to this website, employees in different positions were asked the following: Discribe your typical day.  What are the qualifications required for this job?  What are the best and worst parts of this job?  What final advice do you have for someone interested in this line of work?

Apprenticeships in Massachusetts

This guide provides information on Joint Apprenticeship Training Programs for a variety of trades.  It includes contact information and program eligibility requirements.

Cluster Mapping

An interactive tool to explore relationships of different career clusters and other occupation information

Educational Resources

The following tutorials, courses, and curriculi featured in the For Educators section of this site, can be used by individuals to gain knowledge that can be used on the job.  It can also be used by career explorers to guage their interest in an occupation or field.  If the bulk of what you would need to learn and later apply on the job doesn't excite you, keep exploring fields and occupations to find a better fit.