Free Resources to Support Your Teen’s Career and Education Exploration

By Ashleigh Goldberg
High school students at school

In any given school year, your teen experiences many moments that elicit a range of different emotions about the future, especially when they consider what comes next after high school. They’re not alone. College Board recently commissioned a survey of 1,200 high school students that looked at students’ attitudes about careers. Almost half of the respondents said they felt motivated about exploring a future career while only 28% said they felt confident. 

High school is ripe with decision-making opportunities. How can these choices, big and small, serve as helpful steps forward so your teen feels confident in what comes next? 

For starters, they need quality, actionable directions regardless of the path they are considering. For all students, a successful career, including the training and education to get there after high school, should be within reach.

Creating greater exposure to college and career planning with personalized tools and quality guidance is key. That’s why College Board is providing millions of students with access to information that can help them meet the moment head on. When they start to unlock the future they see for themself, they can feel confident and excited about what comes next.  

Here are three ways you can support your teen as they explore their future career options.

1. Introduce your teen to BigFuture, an online planning guide that offers free career and college exploration and planning tools.

    Is your teen unsure about what they’d enjoy doing? They can take a 10-minute career quiz to find 30 options that match their likes and dislikes.

    Does your teen have a career or two in mind? They can use Career Search to discover more about 1,000 career profiles, including the education requirements for a career. If the career they’re exploring requires an associate’s degree, they can navigate to College Search and see their options. There are over 4,000 institutions, including 4-year, non-4 year, and technical education programs.  

    Is your teen early into the exploration process? To better understand what skills or training program is right for them, our Multiple Pathways Hub share more about different programs and videos from real people who took different steps to reach their goals.

    2. Ask about career interests when your teen receives their SAT Suite score report.

      Receiving the SAT Suite score report serves as a moment to support your teen in their career planning journey. With recent additions, it can ignite future planning for all students, regardless of their path after high school.

      The score report includes the addition of Career Insights. When students access their score information, they will see a list of in-demand careers in their state, including information on median salary, job growth and education requirements for entry.

      While the careers shown may or may not interest your teen, delivering career information on the score report is an opportunity for students to think about their career options and encourages them to explore what’s possible with careers. 

      3. Start the career conversation at home.

        In partnership with the National Career Development Association, we published A Guide to Student Career Exploration and Planning, a resource for families and caring adults to help guide students in conversations. It includes starter questions to help check-in with your child on how they’re feeling and recommended activities to help them explore their interests.

        Career decisions look different for everyone because they’re personal, and the planning process isn’t linear. But for all students, it’s never too early or too late to help make a connection between what they’re passionate about and what they value in a career that can sustain their personal and professional growth.

        Ashleigh Goldberg is a guest contributor from BigFuture Careers & Partnerships, College Board

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