What do I want to be when I grow up? That is the age old question that does not necessarily have a clear-cut answer. “Career development” is a lifelong process.
Successful career planning requires knowledge about many careers and insight into your interests, abilities, and work values.
Many high school students stress because they must choose “one job” that they will have for a lifetime. However, in today’s world that is far from the experience that most will encounter. At MTHS, we strive to help students gain skills and resources that will prepare them to make informed decisions, resulting in a successful career path regardless of the direction they choose. In addition to offering a wide range of elective courses and life skills throughout our curriculum, the following are some activities that student experience.
Incoming freshmen take the Explore exam for high school placement, which includes an assessment of interests. The students’ interests are grouped in occupation clusters that match their interests. This helps students start thinking about possible careers that might fit them.
9th graders also get a chance to experience “The Real World.” The Real World is a simulated activity in which students explore career opportunities and make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those adults face daily.
Sophomores take the PSAT 10. The PSAT 10 is highly relevant to your future success because it focuses on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education. It measures what you learn in high school and what you need to succeed in college.
Junior year students take the SAT. The SAT is an entrance exam used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The idea (in theory, at least) is to provide colleges with one common criterion that can be used to compare all applicants. It measures what you learn in high school and what you need to succeed in college.
A requirement for successful completion of Senior English is an occupational study where students choose a career, research its history, and job shadow/interview a practicing professional in the field. Students use several resources to help them with this written project, including Career Cruising, to fully develop their understanding of the career they chose to study. The project also requires successful completion of the career portfolio and resume through the Career Cruising program. Career Cruising also offers students the opportunity to examine their career goals and possibilities for continuing education both as undergraduates or graduate students.
More Career Development
CAREER EXPLORATION Class is a 0.25 credit required course taken opposite Driver Education every other day. If a student did not take Driver Education at MTHS or has already taken Driver Education, this course can be taken opposite a study hall, every other day. This is a one-semester, every other day class in which students will be given opportunities to explore their interests, abilities, values and personalities as they relate to a choice of career. Students will examine and research those careers that match their individualities and those careers of interest to them. Students will then create their own personalized plan of study, which will cover their high school course selections, as well as prepare a plan of study for beyond high school (job, career or technical school, junior college, or four-year College). Career Cruising software will be used to build a personalized, electronic portfolio for each student. This portfolio can then be accessed throughout their high school and college years and beyond.
MTHS is excited to promote a career program students can use at school and home, “Career Cruising.” Career Cruising has four main sections: Career Matchmaker, Explore Careers, Explore Colleges and the Portfolio Tool (including resume building). Students will be utilizing different sections in their studies at MTHS.
Parents, have fun with your child and take the “Career Matchmaker” to see if your interests match with your occupation.
Go to: www.careercruising.com
To Create a Portfolio use the following:
- User name: Use: firstname.middleinitial.lastname.mths (for example: Lisa A. Cooper would be: lisa.a.cooper.mths)
- Password: Use student ID #
MTHS offers the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) on a volunteer basis to students (sophomore-senior). The test provides valuable aptitude information that may help students with career choices. This test is typically offered in January and is free of charge. Students interested in taking this test should come to the guidance office.
- Get paid while on the job training for Building and Construction trades
- APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:
- Must be at least 18 years old; must have a high school diploma or GED certificate
- must be a U.S. citizen or in the process of naturalization
- must pass an aptitude test
- must pass a drug screening
- must be physically fit to work in the construction industry
- must have reliable transportation.
- See list of options, income, and how to apply: http://www.
- The West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council: http://www.westcentralbtc.org/
- See also ICC apprenticeship programs at: https://icc.edu/apprenticeship/#
End note for students!
Career development is definitely not limited to the above. The skills and knowledge students gain throughout each course taken at MTHS helps prepare them for the future. MTHS is fortunate to have a highly qualified staff and a broad range of vocational, work force learning, dual credit, and COOP classes, in addition to extracurricular activities, which allow students to explore their interest and skills.
Your future begins with the choices you make today and every day after. Take every opportunity to explore your interests, aptitude, values, and personality. Your classes, extracurricular activities, hobbies, after school jobs, and attitude all shape your future. It is a powerful thing when you realize that the choice is all yours!
Some outside Links:
www.careercruising.com (Helps you target the right career for you)
www.careers.org (Find the right education for your career goals)
www.careerplanning.about.com (Profiles careers, how to make a career choice, self-assessments, matches skills to jobs)
www.illionoisworknet.com (Illinois website that links to job opportunities)
www.idesillinois.gov (IL. Dept. of Employment website which gives career information and search for jobs)