Exploring career options early

01 February 2017

Year 12 and 13 students should start to focus on, consider and explore the post-secondary study and career options available to them as early as possible.

Why? In the final two years at school a student faces many competing pressures: leadership responsibilities, academic success, and an ever-increasing social life – and often exploring further study and career options is left to the last minute.

This can be for a range of reasons – sometimes a student is not yet ‘career ready’ or might be afraid of making a decision. Then there’s the additional pressure on a student to already know exactly what they want to do once they finish school.

Why focusing on ‘the job’ is irrelevant

Due to technological advances, jobs are changing all the time. This means focusing purely on the outcome of getting a certain job is redundant – after all, the job might not exist post-study, or the type of skills required for it might have changed. Big data and automation, for example, are having a large impact on the way we work.

That means students need to focus on opportunities to develop transferable skills that allow them to be agile and able to navigate a range of industries and professions. Problem solving, financial and digital literacy, teamwork, creativity and communication are some of these important skills that will serve them well across many roles and industries, and they’re in demand.

How to make a good decision

As early as possible, students should attend tertiary open days and talk to staff about what’s on offer. They should also explore various industries by speaking to people in a range of jobs, researching trends and reality-testing different options. After this process, a student can choose a course of action to support their ideas, ensuring it’s as broad as possible in case their mind changes as they progress.

How CDES can help

If you're already at the University of Auckland, we can help! Login to MyCDES to see the workshops and one-on-one appointments we offer and make a booking.