For Teens by Teens – Choosing a Career

Choosing Early

High school can be a demanding time. Not only are you required to get good grades, take standardized tests, get into college, and maybe even have a job, you also bear the pressure of deciding what to do with the rest of your life.

It is common to hear the reassurance that you do not need to know where you are going until sophomore year of college. However, there are many benefits to having at least a rough idea before this.

Not only will having an idea of what your future will hold relieve an inordinate amount of stress, but having a career plan will also help you in your college search. For example, if you begin studying at a school known for its excellent writing program, but discover halfway through that being an artist is your dream, you may have to undergo a complicated transfer.

High school is a good time to research your career choices. You can take up an internship to more fully understand what the job entails, or simply take a day or two to shadow a superior. Shadowing, or watching someone who has already secured the career you desire, can be as important, if not more so, than an internship. Getting a feel for the everyday, mundane operations of the actual job through the eyes of a worker can be extremely informative.

If the career path you have chosen requires more than a four-year education, you can begin researching graduate or law schools and studying for the entrance exams. This process will allow you to get the experience that is impressive on a transcript or resume, which in turn gives you a better shot at being accepted into the school of your choice.

Finally, pursuing a career in advance can save a great deal of money. If your area of study requires graduate or law school, you can tailor your budget to accommodate those expenses ( Besides this, taking community college classes and/or Advanced Placement courses and exams can excuse you from time-consuming and expensive core classes in college. If you knock out core classes in high school, it will allow you to study subjects more specific to your career, which can help you to graduate early. It is not too late to sign up for community college courses even if you are already in a four-year university, especially since they are offered over the summer.


If you are unsure what job you want, examine first what you enjoy about school, everyday life, hobbies, or the part-time job you have now. Please, don’t settle for what you are good at if you do not enjoy it. Think about what you want your life to become: do you want to dread getting up every morning to do your job just so you can live in the house you want and drive a nice car, or do you want to go to bed looking forward to another day at work? (For examples of career and lifestyle choices check out my “A Day in the Life of…” articles).

Lastly, Take advice from friends (they may see more in you than you see in yourself) and RESEARCH. Once you have identified what you excel at or enjoy most, ask around and look online to try and find a good match. If you are already in college, talk to your professors. Ask them what schooling they suggest and what experience you might need in addition to any advice about the overall reliability and appeal of the career.


Most Highly Paid Jobs:

Remember to make sure that the highly paid job you seek is your calling; it is very unlikely that you will make it through the rigorous requirements if you are not fully committed.

Most of these top options require more than a four-year college education – meaning law, graduate, or medical school, and even a few years of experience or training after schooling may be required.

  1. Anesthesiologist
  2. Surgeon
  3. Psychiatrist
  4. Pediatrician
  5. Lawyer
  6. Political Scientist
  7. Sales Manager (Think “Dunder Mifflin”)
  8. Human Resources Manager
  9. Optometrist
  10. Computer Software Engineer


Most In-demand Jobs:

It is vital that you examine what career is in high demand. This will give you flexibility regarding where you can live after receiving the education and at what institution, in addition to ensuring that you can secure a station at all.

Below are some options of highly in-demand jobs in the present economy.



Manufacturing, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineer


Finance & Accounting:

Senior or Cost Accountant and Finance Manager


Human Resources:

Learning & Development Manager and Human Resources Representative


Information Technology:

Business Partner, Project Manager, Software Engineer, Network and Security Engineer.