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Sunday, January 22, 2012

What is Career Awareness?

Some may wonder what is "Career Awareness." With the competitive world today's students face upon graduation, it's important they are aware of the many possibilities for jobs and career paths in all kinds of fields.

Once they become aware of their passions such as the environment, medicine, scientific research, and how the arts might be connected to these interests, they need to be introduced to the options and possibilities and how these relate to their studies now. They need to be challenged long before they get to college or enter the workplace.

In the book, Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers, I propose that, "Students who were once isolated within the four walls of the classroom can now use interactive digital media and distance learning tools to interview professionals and learn from role models through firsthand experiences. As students develop relationships...goal setting becomes more authentic....They begin to understand the education and training needed to fulfill their dreams." They begin to develop a clearer understanding of why they are doing what they are asked to do in the classroom.

One of my own mentors, Jay Matheson, who provided inspiration for the book through his Oregon-based project, Extending Career Options for Rural Students, says, "There's a natural curiosity that young people have--because in their minds they're going to be doing some of those things. You never know when you're going to come across an interest in a child."

There is an extensive list of STEM-related career degree programs available at this government site: STEM-designated careers. The light may go on for one movitvated student by browsing this list.

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