Explore Technical and Vocational Careers

Research technical and vocational careers to see which path works best for you!

About the Activity

There are so many rewarding and valuable technical and vocational careers to explore after high school. These opportunities are available in a variety of fields, like health care, construction, beauty, and so much more. Using a career log, teens will explore potential technical and vocational opportunities. By the end, they will have a better understanding of which careers are a good fit for their future.

Grades: 9-12
Topic: Financial Literacy, Career Exploration, College Readiness
Estimated Time: 1.5 hours

Brought to you by TD Ameritrade

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Supplies
These simple supplies are all you’ll need for this activity.

  • Paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • If you would like to complete the career log virtually, you can use excel.
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Activity Steps

Choosing a career is an important decision. Creating a career log can help you explore a variety of career options before you decide to make a commitment. Follow the steps below to start learning about different opportunities.

  1. Before you get started, take a look at the activity guide. This pdf will have all the supporting resources for this activity like a list of vocational and technical careers as well as a career log.Did you know? Career and technical education is a group of courses, classes, or training that prepares a person for a technical or skills-based career. Some technical and vocational careers require education after high school that leads to a certificate in a specific field.
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  1. Prepare your career log by printing the page from the activity guide or you could draw the log with your pencil and paper. If you prefer to make a digital version of the career log, you could use Excel.Did you know? Some careers offer on-the-job training that will provide specific training related to the job. A good example of this is the military. They provide the training that you’ll need for the type of job you’ll be performing.
  2. Using the list of technical and vocational careers, select five jobs that you are curious about. If you have a career in mind that isn’t on the list, be sure to add it to the log.Did you know? Apprenticeships are another form of on-the-job training that usually pay you to work and learn alongside an experienced employee.
  3. Once you’ve chosen five career interests, fill in the other information on the chart about education requirements, compatibility, and salary. After you have filled in your log, take a moment to review your research and think about which career could be the best fit for you.Did you know? Some of the jobs that don’t require a four-year bachelor’s degree do require a two-year associate degree. Associate degrees are usually obtained from two-year community colleges or other schools. This degree can lead to a specific career or it can be a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree.

Bonus Activity (Optional)
After you’ve completed the career log, you could dive deeper as a career detective.
 
Select one or two of the careers from your career log and find someone in your family or community who has that job or a similar job. Interview them with the questions found under the career detective section of the pdf to learn more about the role. This inside scoop could give you a better idea of the day-to-day responsibilities of a potential career.

Reflection Questions
Questions for your kids and teens.

  1. Did you discover a new career interest after completing this activity?
  2. What were some of the pros and cons of the careers you were interested in?
  3. What are some next steps you can take to learn more about technical and vocational careers?
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Investigate and Explore
Take what you've learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.

There are many paths towards a successful, lucrative, and rewarding career. Some students decide to attend college and some students pursue careers that don’t require a college degree. They opt into the military, obtain a vocational certification, or enter the workforce directly after high school. Each of these career options is equally important to the way our society operates.

As you plan for your career path, be sure to make it personal by factoring in your interests, skill set, goals, and most importantly, your happiness.

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