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How should I start researching different career fields ?

How should I start researching different career fields? I am an 11th-grade student and I am having trouble picking on what I want to study. There are so many options so it is difficult to choose one.

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Bryan’s Answer

Hi Reeva!

First, it is great that you are thinking about your future career while you are in high school. You are way ahead of the curve. Also, you do not have to pick your career at in high school and then stick with that choice for the rest of your life. Changing careers is very common.

Similar to the answers above, I think having conversations with family, friends, teachers, and others are a great way to learn about the endless career opportunities out there. Ask questions such as “how did you get into this field” and “what do you enjoy most about your career” and “what does your day to day look like at your job?” If the answers to these questions sound interesting, ask if you can shadow that person for a day or visit them at work to see what that career is like first hand. Lastly, do not stress too much about picking the “perfect job.” As I mentioned before, you can always change your career if you are unhappy and there is no perfect job for everyone. You won’t know if you like something or dislike it without giving it a try. Best of luck!
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Thirada’s Answer

Hi! I can totally relate to your situation. In high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. For my advice, here are some main points:

1. Talk to people who are working in the fields you're interested in. Figure out what their day to day life is like. From that information, do you think you'd be happy doing this kind of job? I also watched youtube videos to get a hint of what different careers might be like, which can be helpful.

2. Do internships, volunteering, or shadow people who are doing the careers you're interested in. Figure out what you like and don't like about each job. You will learn a lot about yourself through this process if you're good at reflecting. Use what you learned in a previous activity to guide your next experience. There is no perfect dream job out there, but you can try to get as close as possible!

3. Once you gather information about jobs using the methods above, pick a field you want to pursue, and continue building your resume. If you need to take certain classes, take certain tests, or get particular work experiences, try to plan for those.

I'll share my personal experience as well, in case it helps. This is what I did in steps below:

1. I knew I liked art and science, but this is very broad. I started by getting a summer internship at an animation company. Then, I got an internship at an art gallery. These experiences helped me figure out if I could pursue art full time.

2. I realized that I couldn't do art full time (but that's just me). That left me with science. I was interested in psychology, criminal justice, biology, and chemistry. To figure out which way to go, I took these four classes in first semester of college: intro to psychology, intro to criminal justice, general biology, and general chemistry. I quickly realized that criminal justice wasn't for me.

3. That leaves psychology, biology, and chemistry. If you noticed, so far I've been doing a process of elimination. The next thing I did was volunteer in psychology labs. That experience told me I couldn't do psychology full time, but I was still interested in human behavior.

4. Lucky for me, there is a field that uses biology to study human behavior: neuroscience. I looked into what jobs a neuroscience major usually gets after college, and found that most people went to medical school or became researchers.

5. I went to informational club meetings and events for pre-med students to figure out if I wanted to become a doctor. The answer was no. Instead, I did a research internship at a pharmaceutical company and an internship at a university lab. I found that I enjoyed scientific research much more, and then looked into what I need to do to make it a full time career.

I hope this gives you some clues!
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Reeva
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Reeva,

How to Start Researching Different Career Fields

Exploring different career fields can be overwhelming, especially when faced with a multitude of options. Here are some steps you can take to start researching and narrowing down your choices:

1. Self-Assessment: Begin by assessing your interests, values, skills, and personality traits. Understanding yourself better can help you identify potential career paths that align with who you are. Consider what subjects you enjoy in school, activities you excel at, and what motivates you.

2. Research Various Career Options: Once you have a clearer sense of your strengths and interests, start researching different career fields. You can explore various industries, job roles, and professions to see what resonates with you. Use online resources such as career websites, job boards, and professional networking platforms to gather information.

3. Informational Interviews: Reach out to professionals working in fields that interest you and request informational interviews. This is an excellent way to gain insights into specific careers, understand the day-to-day responsibilities, and learn about the skills required. Networking with professionals can also provide valuable guidance.

4. Internships or Job Shadowing: Consider participating in internships or job shadowing opportunities to get hands-on experience in different career fields. This practical exposure can give you a real-world perspective on what it’s like to work in a particular industry and help you determine if it’s a good fit for you.

5. Utilize Career Assessment Tools: There are various career assessment tools available online that can help match your interests and skills with potential career paths. These assessments often provide personalized recommendations based on your responses and can be a useful starting point in exploring different options.

6. Seek Guidance from Career Counselors: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your school’s career counselors or academic advisors. They can provide valuable resources, advice, and support in navigating the process of choosing a career path. They may also offer aptitude tests or counseling sessions to assist you further.

7. Consider Future Trends: Research emerging trends in various industries to understand where future job opportunities may lie. Keeping abreast of technological advancements, market demands, and societal changes can help you make informed decisions about which career fields are likely to be in demand.

By following these steps and actively engaging in the research process, you can gain clarity on the different career fields available to you and make an informed decision about your future academic and professional pursuits.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

The Balance Careers: The Balance Careers is a reputable online resource that offers articles, guides, and tools related to career development, job searching, and workplace insights.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): The BLS is a federal agency that provides data on employment statistics, occupational outlooks, wages, and industry trends in the United States.

CareerOneStop: CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and offers comprehensive information on careers, training programs, salary data, job market trends, and more for individuals exploring different career paths.

GOD BLESS YOU,
JC.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. It's the right time for you to consider this question.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what you have interest, e.g. your hobbies, favorite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you like music, would you like to be a singer, musician, musical artist, music composer, music producer, etc.
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in colleges
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Reeva
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Jamie’s Answer

Hi Reeva!

Start by listing things you enjoy doing (school, extracurricular activities, etc.) Then, list some things you are good at (think of things big and small). Next, do some research both online and by asking people of what career would fit the things you listed. Once you get a few ideas, consider job shadowing to see if you like any of your areas of interest. This will help you narrow your search down. Once you start experiencing each field and talking to others and doing some research, you’ll be able to determine a few potential career paths by seeing what you like and what you don’t. You will figure it out as you continue doing this, but don’t be discouraged if it takes a few wrong options before finding the path you really love. No one has it all figured out in 11th grade. And remember, it is always okay to change your mind. Good luck! You got this!
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