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5 Courses High Schoolers Should Take to Narrow Down Career Choices

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Whether your high school offers career specific courses for your student or not, there are a variety of courses that can help them select majors and inspire a career path. 


We picked these 5 courses most schools offer: 


A management or leadership course


It doesn’t matter whether the title of the management of leadership course includes agriculture, technology or theatre. It will help your student decide whether they want to pursue a business degree or to be a leader in any field.


I learned so much in my entrepreneurship course that helps with my art exhibitions and meeting deadlines as a journalist. As a leader, I had to learn how to work as a team and that I’m ultimately responsible for meeting deadlines. Thus, I checked in with my teammates regularly to insure work was getting done.


My leadership courses were as important as any other skill I learned that was directly in my field.  Because of my leadership class, I became student body president in art school.


AP science courses


When considering both science majors and career paths, students need to be ready for intense scientific studies. Schools often offer AP biology, chemistry and physics courses.


However, picking the right science course makes a big difference. For instance, a biology class requires much less math than a chemistry course. Your student should have a thorough talk with their high school counselor before choosing a science course.


A practical communications course


Whether your student is considering a degree in marketing or journalism, a practical communications course can help hone in on whether they want a major and career path that involves a lot of writing.


Practical communication courses for writing include anything involving communications or journalism. Marketing courses work as well. If a course isn’t offered in high school, community colleges offer courses they can take at night, in the summer, or during winter breaks. 


An Information Technology (IT) course


Programming courses are very common in high schools and can help students decide if they want a future in a computer-based field. 


If multiple courses are offered, a student should seek the help of their high school counselor in choosing the best one. A programming course may be the best choice for one student, while a web design course may be best for someone else.


Any course that sparks creative thinking 


Art, public speaking, drama, or philosophy all involve both being creative and problem solving. After all, when painting you have to fix problems if a color doesn’t match or paint spills. CEOs in a variety of fields often choose philosophy as a major because of the problem solving core.


Your student should pick the course that most sparks their creative thinking. A drama course can teach teamwork, as performers have to help each other with lines and ease each others anxietie. They’ll also learn how to take risks that are vital for future entrepreneurs. 


Another type of creative course is one that involves physical or computerized building. Anything from auto shop to computerized programs for architecture can help students decide whether they want careers from furniture and costume design to engineering and architecture.


The bottom line is career and major exploration isn’t as simple as the student choosing a course that is labeled directly with their ultimate career goal and major. Courses with key skills can help them along their path.


5 Takeaways

  • Management and leadership courses are useful no matter what field they are tied to. An agricultural management course can help your student decide whether they want to manage others as much as hospitality management.
  • AP science courses build college credits and help students decide whether they want to pursue majors and careers in science.
  •  Practical communication courses in writing are good for careers in marketing, journalism, and other communication fields.
  • IT courses range from programming to web design. Your student should pick the course that best matches their interests.
  • Courses from painting to philosophy teach creative thinking and problem solving. These courses can lede to careers ranging from commercial artist to CEO.

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