Summer is a great time to explore career-related activities--an in some cases, students can pursue these interests into the fall

For teens, summer usually means playing sports, volunteering at summer camps, hanging out with friends, or working a summer job. Because of the pandemic, many of these activities were put on the shelf this year.

While they may not be able to have the same in-person summer experiences they traditionally look forward to, young people can still have a fun and educational summer with their friends by taking part in virtual opportunities – even preparing them for future careers.

Related content: Inspiring students for college, career, and beyond

Nearly all hiring managers indicate they are having trouble finding qualified job candidates to fill open positions because of gaps in technical skills or gaps in soft skills like effective communication. By 2030 the skills gap is estimated to cost businesses trillions of dollars worldwide.

Career experiences like internships help students discover what they love and teach them key skills employers look for when making hiring decisions.

For teens, summer usually means playing sports, volunteering at summer camps, hanging out with friends, or working a summer job. Because of the pandemic, many of these activities were put on the shelf this year.

While they may not be able to have the same in-person summer experiences they traditionally look forward to, young people can still have a fun and educational summer with their friends by taking part in virtual opportunities – even preparing them for future careers.

Nearly all hiring managers indicate they are having trouble finding qualified job candidates to fill open positions because of gaps in technical skills or gaps in soft skills like effective communication. By 2030 the skills gap is estimated to cost businesses trillions of dollars worldwide.

Career experiences like internships help students discover what they love and teach them key skills employers look for when making hiring decisions.

Here are four fun ways teens can get a jump start on any career, even while social distancing.

Explore

One of the hardest questions you can ask anyone is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most teens are undecided on what career they would like to pursue after high school. And for those that do know what fields they are interested in; they don’t necessarily know in the full scope of job opportunities available within it. They may be interested in computer science, construction, or healthcare, but they may not know what specific directions they can take that interest. Summer is the perfect opportunity to start exploring different careers.

At Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA), my students use online resources like Voyager, My Next Move, and My Colorado Journey to help them understand who they are as a person, discover their interests, and ultimately find a career path they are passionate about.

With these resources, students take quizzes that match their current interests to potential careers, watch videos to see what it might look like to work in different career fields, and learn what skills, knowledge, and education requirements they’ll need to successfully pursue a career path in the field they are interested in.

Join a club

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) help middle and high school students explore different career paths, gain valuable career and life skills, network with industry professionals, and provide opportunities to hold leadership positions.

Members of HOSA interested in pursuing a career in the health care industry can learn technical skills they’ll need to succeed in fields such as pharmacology, nursing, or public health. Students who want to learn more about marketing, finance, or management might consider joining DECA, while FFA is a club for students interested in pursuing a career in the agriculture industry.

Joining any of these CTSOs is the perfect opportunity for students to prepare to take industry-recognized cert
source: Read More, eSchool News

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