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I'm trying to narrow down my choices of careers as I look into colleges. How do I find which area fits best for me?

I am a high school junior who is also looking into NAIA or D2 colleges for soccer, but I would like my choices to be more narrowed to at least a certain area of interest. #college-selection #college-advice #career


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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Leah,

I agree with Kirsten's answer and would like to add a few thoughts of my own. I think you need to invest time in introspection so that you can really explore your aspirations and interests. I think a valuable way to consider the question is to backwards plan. Identify what careers you think you would be interested in. Try to find similarities between different fields that you're attracted to. See if you can find a major that provides options to pursue several different careers. For example, if you think you might want to work at a think tank doing research but also think you might want to consult for a professional services firm, consider something like economics or math. Both of those majors provide tremendous technical skills that are extremely attractive to employers and also provide a wide range of career options.

If you're having trouble compiling a list of career interests or just want a more pragmatic way to think about the process, check out the career guide I linked below. I recommend reading the entire thing. I know it is lengthy, but it contains a tremendous volume of information. Read a section a day and you will finish in no time. The research is also very interesting and it's very well written.

I hope this helps - good luck!

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

https://80000hours.org/key-ideas/

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Kirsten’s Answer

Great question! It may be good to start to think about what you like and don't like. For example, do you like math? If so, maybe look into professions like engineering. Do you want to be in a role that deals with people every day? If so, maybe look into HR roles.

Also, you could ask your parents and family members about what they do and even do informational interviews with people you already know who have roles that are of interest. They can give you a better sense at what it's like to be in those roles. If you have a career center at your school, that would also be a great resource. In college they will have this, so if anything plan to utilize them once you have started!

Lastly, most college curriculum the first year or two includes general education classes so don't feel too much pressure to define what you want to do right away. Hope this helps!

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Lia’s Answer

I would think about your interests. What subjects do you enjoy at high school? Do you lean toward math and science or are you more interested in language and social studies. It is good to at least have an idea of what direction you think you might want to go as it helps when selecting initial classes and ensuring you are meeting core requirements. An economics or business degree can be a great foundation for many careers in business. Science related degrees are the perfect foundation for careers in nursing, medicine, research, engineering. While your degree will lead you in a certain direction initially it is often your first job that becomes the foundation of your career. Employers look for people who can be team players (as demonstrated by your sport), who demonstrate empathy and can communicate well.

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Kathryne’s Answer

Hi, Leah! I have some things for you to think about:

I would think about what skills you would get from majoring/minoring in a subject area. For example, if you minor in Spanish, you would have the skill of speaking Spanish, which would be a skill that is useful in many different industries.

I would also think about what do you want to learn more about? Are there things about certain subjects that you are interested in learning more about? For example, if you are interested in biology, do you like learning about the environment? Animals? The human body?

So, I would try thinking of all the things that excite you and decide if those things, if you majored/minored in them, would help develop you professionally and what skills you would learn from learning more about those subjects.

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Kathryne’s Answer

Hi, Leah! I have some things for you to think about:

I would think about what skills you would get from majoring/minoring in a subject area. For example, if you minor in Spanish, you would have the skill of speaking Spanish, which would be a skill that is useful in many different industries.

I would also think about what do you want to learn more about? Are there things about certain subjects that you are interested in learning more about? For example, if you are interested in biology, do you like learning about the environment? Animals? The human body?

So, I would try thinking of all the things that excite you and decide if those things, if you majored/minored in them, would help develop you professionally and what skills you would learn from learning more about those subjects.

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Jacob’s Answer

Play your sport and enjoy it otherwise you will always regret it. You can get a great education at a smaller school.

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Anthony’s Answer

Great question, Leah! I'd encourage you to think about the courses you enjoyed most in high school and why you enjoyed those courses. Additionally, if you'd held any jobs think about the aspects of those jobs you enjoyed most.

I.E. do you enjoy working with people? do you love math and statistics? do you enjoy working with computers?

These are all great questions. Once you have an idea of the things you enjoy most, then do some research on which careers require skills in those areas. This will help narrow the choices down a little bit!

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Richard’s Answer

The best way to find out what career that you're interested in is to try internships. Participate in research. Take classes in college that challenge you. Eventually you will find something interesting that suits your skills

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Kaylee’s Answer

I think it is more about what you like but i definitely would visit the schools and see which one works for you best.

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Dave’s Answer

I would start with some sort of self-assessment that helps you explore your interests and learning styles.

Dave recommends the following next steps:

One really effective, very quick self-assessment is here: https://collegeathleticadvisor.com/get-started/

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