Research course helps students discover career pathways
December 6, 2011
BAMBERG, Germany -- For students graduating high school, the number of degree plans and career fields to choose from are endless.
For some uncertain graduates, choosing a career path can be a daunting experience.
Bamberg Middle High School now offers a new course to its curriculum that assists high school students with secondary education and workforce plans.
Career Decision Making, open to all high school grade levels, is designed to provide students with in-depth research and experience of different occupations through job shadows, guest speakers and field trips, said Theresa Jones, BMHS Career Decision Making instructor.
"Predominantly, they are juniors and seniors with a couple of sophomores scheduled in. Surprisingly, some of them have an idea of what they want to do and some of them don't," Jones said.
In the past, Career Practicum, a class offered to juniors and seniors, was the only course offered at BMHS that is designed to provide career work experience.
"Career Practicum we actually go out and do a job we think we might like. In this class we are more researching what we want to do," said Alicia Speelman, an 11th grade student in Career Decision Making.
"In this class we are going to many different places instead of one per semester," Speelman said.
The flexibility of the class allows students to choose any occupation available here to job shadow.
"It depends on the career you want. I am going to try to get as much 'law experience' as I can," Speelman said, who hopes to job shadow at the judge advocate general's office.
"It's whatever suits us," she said.
During the semester, students must complete a minimum of two job shadow projects.
"We have to arrange it ourselves," said Rosaliz Carrillo, a 12th grade student in the class. "We choose what kind of job we are interested in and then we arrange a job shadow."
Like in the real word, Carrillo and her classmates realize that job searching can sometimes be a frustrating process.
"Sometimes it is difficult when the people just don't reply to us," Carrillo said, who is interested in job shadowing a physical therapist and a human resource manager.
"I have contacted two jobs so far but it's been really difficult to get a hold of people," she said.
Not all of the students know which career path to take, but for students like sophomore Mackenzie Fox, Career Decision Making provides her an opportunity to become familiar with many different occupations and possibilities.
"I think it gives you experience," Fox said. "It shows you your options, so when you get out of school you know you have the option to do anything."
For more information on hosting a job shadow, contact Theresa Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.