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5 ways to get your students excited about their future careers

How do you get students excited about and better engaged in future readiness and career planning?

As the world’s first digital generation, your students are more connected to technology than they are to each other. The internet is not just a tool that allows them to socialise, watch and create videos, and play games. It’s a way of life.

Educators have started to come around to the idea that digital learning options are one of the best ways to engage students. But what about when it comes to post-secondary options and career planning? In today’s competitive climate, it’s more important than ever for students to get excited about their future careers early. The sooner they begin thinking about their goals, the easier it will be to determine the post-secondary pathways that will help them get there.

The answer? Interactive online career planning and future readiness tools. Empower students to reflect on their skills and interests, learn about the many ways to make a living, research post-secondary options, and even discover apprenticeships and university campus information. And all in a digital environment that feels natural to them.

Here are our 5 suggestions that can make the job of preparing students for their future easier and more efficient. 

1. Tap into self-knowledge

It’s a big ask to expect every student to know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Start smaller by encouraging them to reflect on their interests and skills. An online career planning tool can bring the task to life, make it more fun, and offer a private, unbiased space for them to put down their ideas. As they work through their self-reflection online, your students can digitally store their dreams and goals, revisiting and building on their ideas and plans as they think about life experiences and interests.

Rather than using pen and paper for career matching and planning exercises, bringing students online takes the experience to a whole new level of interactivity. With learning style and personality quizzes, assessments become more engaging and feel less like work. The associated benefits of helping students understand their strengths and interests and prompting them to think about what they’d value in a job – like helping others, being creative, or having a lot of leisure time – become more acute.

Beyond interactivity, going online with your future readiness program ensures that results are centrally stored and easily accessed. This gives students the opportunity to revisit activities as new insights are discovered and skills learned.

2. Make it real

The ‘real world’ after secondary education is an abstract concept for many students. Digitally savvy teenagers respond especially well to narratives that connect them to new ideas. This may explain why ‘stories’ on Instagram and Snapchat are so popular.

Make an impact, use online career planning tools to demonstrate what it’s like to do a specific job. CASCAID’s programs have extensive career libraries which include day-in-the-life experiences from real people and offer students a true life glimpse into the possibilities. Students can easily identify how any career matches up with their expectations and preferences.

One way to deepen knowledge and encourage reflection and assessment is to ask your students to research a series of careers using your career planning tool. Get them to then present to their classmates about the various careers. The presentations may also spark an interest among other students who weren’t aware of certain careers, and open their eyes to even more options.

3. Provide opportunities for consultation

Students don’t have to feel alone when making important decisions about their future. Many students are fortunate to have the support and input of not just their teachers, but parents too. Even their friends have a role to play in helping them make and follow a career plan.

CASCAID’s online programs allow students to share their research and goals with the influential people in their lives. For example, when they log in with their parents or teachers, students can easily explain their career plans. With access to their child’s profile at home, parents can stay informed and aligned and provide additional support and encouragement as needed.

4. Consider the big picture

It’s challenging for parents and educators to impart the lessons associated with the less tangible aspects of adulthood. Concepts like work/ life balance, financial literacy, and the importance of communication and relationship management are often learned through experience. But these skills are increasingly becoming markers for success in the ever-changing workforce and in life.

CASCAID’s online career planning and future readiness programs can augment personal plans and lessons by giving students a clear picture of what their whole life would look like in specific careers. Information like salary range, demand, type of work (physical demand, shifts, etc.), and locations will help them consider the bigger picture. Educators can then initiate discussions and set assignments that have students reflecting on how their chosen career paths match up with their social and monetary ambitions and, ultimately, their lifestyle goals.

5. Make a post-secondary plan

Once your students have narrowed down their career options, the task of making a plan to get to an end goal becomes less overwhelming. The focus can shift to the important work of preparing for and selecting the post-secondary education or training they need to fulfil their dreams. And this step is crucial. Taking the time to find a good fit goes a long way towards ensuring your students complete their learning or training.

With filters like location, cost, course types, areas of specialisation and more, online future readiness programs allow students to conduct highly effective post-secondary explorations. Courses, colleges and universities can be better differentiated, so students are less tempted to choose the post-secondary option that is easiest to get into or the one their parents want them to attend.

Conclusion

When we empower the digital generation with tools to which they naturally gravitate, students are more engaged than ever and are often inspired to take primary responsibility for setting realistic goals and establishing plans to achieve them.

Online career planning and future readiness programs provide virtual assistance. They help students get to know themselves and their interests better, explore all the possibilities, understand what specific careers are like, and take on post-secondary planning.

And, in addition to all the great work your students can do on their own, these tools provide more meaningful opportunities for collaboration with you and their parents.

Most importantly for students, they are planning for the future on their own terms and in an environment they know best.