Children, even at a very young age, are very interested in learning about careers. Toddlers will play and imagine having careers like doctor, veterinarian, builder (contractor), cook, and teacher. Exposing them to a wide variety of career choices allows them to learn about their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and what they want to learn more about in life. As children grow, these interests should be explored at home. There are many websites geared toward children discovering possible future careers.
What Career is Right for Me?
One great website for children to begin exploring careers is an online survey called What Career is Right for Me. This career aptitude test allows children to rate their skills in various attributes, interests, styles, values, salary, education, and growth. After taking the survey, the results are then displayed providing a list of selected potential careers. This list includes annotated links to information about each career. Information includes a description of the career, the annual median wage, popular colleges for the career, growth, job tasks, and job skills.
United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a very detailed online resource for exploring careers and finding the occupational outlook. This interactive site provides a general overview of different careers based on a subset of interests. Once selected on a category, the child can select from several possible careers to learn more about. Each career lists information about what the job is like, skills they will need, how to prepare for the job, how much the job pays on average, job growth (or decline), the future of the career, other related careers, and links to find out even more about the specific career. After using the What Career is Right for Me? site, this is a great resource to find out more about careers that would interest your child.
The occupational outlook handbook provides information to young adults to help in their job and career planning. The information includes training and education, earnings, job prospects, job description, and working conditions. Children should look to this resource to see if a specific job market is growing or shrinking and what their possible outcome of obtaining a job in a particular field.
Kids.gov – K-5 & 6-8 Career Resources
Kids.gov has a wide variety of resources for children and learning. One aspect of this site is specific pages for children in grades k-5 and children in grades 6-8 to explorer careers. Selecting on the job will bring the child to various government related resources including the National Park Service, Smithsonian National Zoo, Food and Drug Administration, and NASA. These sites are more interactive and engaging including videos from actual people who work in the field.
These websites will provide an opportunity to get children searching online and exploring possible future careers. It is never too early to begin planning for your child’s future.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
Picture By Kevin Grocki
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com