Choosing a Vocation

What you study and which college or university you choose are two big decisions in life.  More vocation and career exploration is needed earlier in high school years. Here are ideas and resources to better prepare for your (your student's) college experience:

  • Chat with family friends, parent's colleagues, and community acquaintances to learn what they enjoy about their work, and what they recommend to best prepare in today's world.
  • Job shadowing really helps.  Learn how to arrange and what questions to ask.  It is well worth the time to job shadow in three or more occupations of interest.
  • Explore career information online. Jobs are changing rapidly, so learn more about new options online before picking something you've heard of from family and friends.
  • Invest in career counseling during high school years. Take personality, strengths, interest and aptitude inventories. Reflect on all results and your core values with parents and counselors to narrow your interests in majors enough to focus on choice of college or university that will help you develop your strengths best.
  • Think carefully about these factors before choosing a college. A small college or university known for caring faculty and advisors, and a mission aligned with your core values, matters more than institutional name. 
    The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report indicates that "what really contributes to people’s happiness and job engagement later in life is: 1) a professor who cared about them; 2) a professor who made them excited about learning; 3) a professor who cared about their dreams; 4) an internship where they felt they applied what they learned in the classroom; 5) active involvement in activities and organizations; and 6) working on a project that took a semester or more to complete."  (eCampus News 11/4/2014)