In years past, the reference desks at high school libraries often were home to a small research center – a shelf or two of career-related books. There you’d find books like What Color Is Your Parachute? a popular bestseller about selecting a career. You would also find books about writing cover letters and resumes, about job hunting online, about taking interviews, and maybe even some books on how to dress for success.
Things have certainly changed, haven’t they? There is hardly any need to set foot in a library now that just about every career resource has moved online. It is possible for your students to get just about all the advice they will ever need online – about writing resumes, hunting for jobs, networking and just about everything else. And in the current pandemic period, that is a very good thing.
Making Your Classroom a Virtual Career Research Center
Do your students arrive in person in your classroom or do they work remotely from home? In either case, consider setting up a career center for them to use. In a physical classroom, it could be a dedicated career research desk, equipped with a laptop, in a corner of the classroom. If you are teaching remotely, set up a virtual career research center on a separate page on your school’s website or in your learning management system.
Why set aside a formalized career center, instead of just turning your students loose and letting them do their own research whenever they like online? One reason is that when students learn you are offering a career research center, that creates a category of action and they become more likely to conduct research. Another reason is that having a career research center sends the message that you and your school view career research as an important, central activity, not as something to be undertaken haphazardly as time allows.
Student Research Foundation Materials to Make Available
In just one blog post, we can’t create a comprehensive list of career resources to recommend to your students. There are just too many – blogs, interactive career quizzes, job listings, and more.
We can, however, recommend that you encourage your students to get to know research materials that are offered by The Student Research Foundation:
This report analyzes data from a 2018 national survey of more than 74,000 high school students, conducted by the Student Research Foundation. Their attitudes identify prospects for gender equity and insights.
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Student Research Foundation’s report on Hispanics in STEM, a collaboration with the Research Consortium on STEM Career Pathways and Google, suggests that now is the time to embrace the next generation of Hispanic STEM leaders. Data show that Gen Z Hispanics are equally as interested in STEM subjects as historically over-represented groups, despite challenges.
As early as freshman year, about 1 in 3 students have thought about their future careers “very much.” That climbs to about half by senior year. Careers are more likely to be on the minds of academically oriented students and students from economically marginalized groups (e.g., African-Americans, Hispanics, and females). The results suggest career and educational pathway topics are relevant to students and offer opportunities to engage and motivate.
This research can be used to better understand today’s changing workforce and the importance of developing a nonstop learning mentality. Students review trends and start to determine their preferred career pathways.
We Invite You to Explore Your Students’ College & Career Options with Us. . .
Participate in the National Career & College Pathway Study to gain new insights about making educational decisions that align with your interests, passions, and aptitudes. Participants will receive information on college and career opportunities that match their interests.