What jobs are you interested in? It's up to you to get an idea of what's out there.
Do some research. Talk to your parents, friends, teachers, guidance counselors, and individuals in occupations that interest you. Search the Internet for career websites and job descriptions.
Take the following items into consideration.
How competitive will the job market be in the future? What are your chances for getting a job in the fields you're interested in?
Get the facts at the U.S. Department of Labor website, which publishes 10-year projections for U.S. workers in its Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Starting salary and job growth
Is how much you make right away important to you? Or are you willing to make less in the beginning, but with the potential to make more down the road?
Learn about job growth possibilities by checking out the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its website lists:
- The 10 fastest growing occupations
- The 10 occupations with the largest job growth
- The 10 industries with the fastest wage and salary employment growth
Remember, these are projections. Keep them in mind, but money should not be the only thing to consider. It's important to like your job.
Education and training requirements
In your research, you may discover that some jobs require specific job skills. You may gain these skills in your high school classes. But if the skill is very specialized — specific computer programs, for example — you may find classes at community centers or through private companies.
There's no better way to gain experience and knowledge in your interests than on-the-job training.
- Looking to go into medicine? Volunteer in the lab of a local hospital.
- Want to be a software programmer? Find a summer job at a software company.
Whatever you choose, you'll be able to interact with professionals in your field and learn what they do on a daily basis.
Do the research on the many different occupations out there. Find out how many years of education and experience you'll need, what the best locations are for certain jobs, your projected income, etc.
Armed with this information, you'll be on the right track to find a career that fits you.