So, last time we talked about what career development is. Now I want to talk about the things you should consider while you’re exploring.
The first thing you want to take into consideration is who you are. After that, you’ll want to take a look at some specific things involved in the careers that interest you.
On one hand, you’ll want to identify what it takes to get to where you want to be. Basically, what are the educational requirements? For example, does this job require a two-year degree? Is it something that will require you to go to graduate school and spend 5-7 years of your life learning about it before you get to do it?
That’s what college is for, to learn before doing. But not everyone wants to, or is even built for spending a long time in post-secondary education. This is why it’s so important to know yourself and what is realistic for you. Quite honestly, it’s completely okay if you don’t want to spend a huge amount of time in school. The good thing is, it may not be necessary. There are a plethora of options out there; that’s why it’s a good idea to know how much education is required before making a decision. Not only so you know what it takes, but also so you can decide which option is best for you.
Once you’ve thought about some career paths, you’ll want to look at the job forecast for these careers. I mean, if you’re going to invest all of this time into preparing for a career, you definitely want to make sure it’s still going to be around when you’re done. You’ll also want to know how much you’re going to be making, right?
Take notes on things like how many people are currently employed in the specific industry, as well as what the projected job growth looks like over the next 10 years. What is the projected starting salary? It can even be nice to determine what the average median salaries are and how long it takes people to get there. Career development isn’t just about the here and now, it’s long term.
With these two pieces of information (the job outlook and the educational requirements), you can start to paint the picture of how finances will come into play. You’ll not only have financial information with the end in mind, but you’ll also be able to know how much you need to save along the way. You’re basically answering the questions: what is this degree worth and how much will it cost me?
And seriously, asking all of these questions isn’t to scare you away. But, it’s definitely important to have all of the information and to set realistic expectations before choosing your major, and definitely before choosing your college.
Okay, okay. I could go on and on about how to research and the best ways to feel prepared (because, if you couldn’t tell, this topic is something that I’m very passionate about). But, believe it or not, I haven’t even gotten to the best part of this yet. We still need to cover why career development is so important.
Right now I’m going to take a break and maybe a nap while I’m at it, but I’ll be back soon to get into why all of this matters.
To be continued…