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Career Planning

Think about your interests
  • What do you like to do? Think about experiences you have enjoyed. What kind of school, religious, social, or sports activities do you like?
  • Make a list of 10 activities you have enjoyed doing in the past four years.
  • Evaluate those interests. Think about what you liked about the activities. What challenges did the activities offer? What skills do you need to develop further to continue in those activities?
Consider your skills
  • Evaluate school, volunteer, work, or leisure experiences.
  • Make a list of your school activities (clubs, organizations to which you belonged). Make a list of any volunteer work you have done (either through social, civic or religious organizations).
  • After you have assessed your interests and skills, determine the relationship between skills and interests and possible careers. You will need to find a career that matches your interests and skills.
Use the links below to help you develop a career plan

A career plan may look like the following sample:

Career goal:

To become a Physical Therapy Assistant (assist physical therapists in providing treatments and procedures)


  • Training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience or an associate’s degree. Some require a bachelor’s degree.
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Being able to monitor and assess situations
  • Time management
  • Service oriented
  • Learn strategies and procedures quickly and precisely
  • Writing skills

Current skills and interests:

  • Summer work for ABC Nursing Facility and Rehab
  • Volunteer at XYZ Special Learning Center
  • Served as class vice-president for 3 years
  • High school biology courses-4.0 grade point average
  • High school geometry and algebra classes-3.75 grade point average
  • High school speech and debate class-3.80 grade point average
  • Played basketball/softball throughout junior high/high school

Plan to reach career goal:

  • Associates degree: LMN State Technical College
  • Work directly with PT at ABC Nursing Facility and Rehab
  • Complete two 40-hour observation sessions of physical therapy
  • Job experience: Continue as a volunteer at XYZ Special Learning Center
  • Work directly with PT at ABC Nursing Facility

Although for some careers a college education may not be required. However, if you go to college you’ll gain information and skills that you will use for the rest of your life, no matter what career path you chose. College has some very practical benefits:

  • More Job Opportunities: The world is changing rapidly. More and more jobs require education beyond high school. College graduates have more jobs to choose from than those who don’t pursue education beyond high school.
  • Earn More Money: A person who goes to college usually earns more than a person who doesn’t. This information is based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 median earnings for full-time workers at least 25 years old. Annual earnings, based on degree, are: high school diploma, $32,500; associate’s degree, $42,000; bachelor’s degree, $53,000; master’s degree, $63,000; and professional degrees, $100,000+.

It Doesn’t Have to Be a Four-Year College

If you’re not sure about college, or which college, consider attending a community college. Community colleges are public, two-year schools that provide an excellent education, whether you’re considering an associate’s degree, a certificate program, technical training, or plan to continue your studies at a four-year college.

Your counselor can provide you with valuable information to assist you in your exploration of careers and help prepare you for a competitive job market.