Jobs and Careers - Career Limelight

TOPIC: How can secondary level institutions effectively engage students in career planning?

To answer this question, first secondary level institutions and career planning must be placed in context. A secondary level institution may be defined as an educational facility that is specifically responsible for providing students ranging from ages twelve to eighteen years with third year level education, acquisition of academic qualification for tertiary level of education or job employment and exposure in preparation for the "industrialized society" the work world. On the other hand, career planning may be conceptualized as defined by Dawn McKay on October 7, 1997 as a "life long process, which includes making choices and arrangements in advance relating to an occupation, getting the job of choice, possibly growing or changing careers and eventually retiring".

The perpetually changing work world is calling for students not to be ignorant but to be more prepared to reduce complications, as it is the tendency for students to be indecisive and confused at the secondary level, hence it is critical for secondary level institutions to effectively engage them at a precocious stage of their lives. As anticipated, this effective engagement in career planning could have tremendous benefits. Some of which includes: a greater focus on future educational paths, a mind set of career goals, and also to facilitate an easier transition from secondary education to the work world or tertiary academic institutions.

To inaugurate, students may need to solicit admonition from their school's Guidance Counselors to succor them through the career planning process. Normally for some secondary level institutions a career week would be held, but to students the effort remained inadequate as it was referred to as being monotonous and a majority would not participate. Secondary level institutions should implement new career planning activities, which would effectively gain the attention and involvement of students in career planning. These activities would be placed into two categories namely theoretical and practical. The theoretical activities wold be comprised of student's appraisals, student's researches and an exhibition, whereas the practical activities would be inclusive of field trips, training camps and a career display.

A student appraisal: this would require students to do a self evaluation such as to find out their interests, the skills or aptitudes they have and which occupation they prefer. This self evaluation would give the guidance counselors an idea of whom they are dealing with, so as to offer the students the optional job choices which relates to their interest.

Students' researches: students would be required to complete a research on a given career, in this they could briefly expound on a career before their peers. Doing this a student can gain knowledge about different careers and be participative.

Exhibition: this would include displays from multi-media presentations to handing out pamphlets by diverse divisions which would compose of various career experts and different colleges and universities, here students may interact with the various professionals hearing the benefits and views about the career, learn about the requirements and qualifications necessary for the career of choice and know how the different universities or colleges that specify in their choice of career.

Field trips: these would call for the students to pay keen attention, increasing their knowledge and understanding of various careers and enabling their minds to be expanded beyond the walls of the classroom into the vast community outside. Field trips could be made to hospitals, factories and financial institutions, etc.

A career display: this would captivate comprehensive attention and participation from all students as they would role play their career choices for the day.

Lastly, training camps would be held, the students would attire themselves daily as if they were going to work, students would also be taught work etiquette. This would give them a feel of the work world.

In order to effectively engage students in career planning at secondary level instituions the implications of new activities may captivate the comprehensive attention and participation of all students making them decisive and prepared for the work world. 

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