By Steven Burrell
Many parents are choosing to homeschool their teens through high school today, due to increased school violence and above average drop-out rates in some regions. However, outside of teaching the basic high school curriculum, a homeschool program should also address the future career goals of each student. Colleges and universities often require specific course credit and test scores in order to be accepted, so that means the homeschool program needs to be geared towards helping your teen have access to career opportunities.
To help your teen achieve the desired career goals, you will want to focus on career planning resources early on. Many homeschool experts recommend doing this as soon as middle school, but as long as the student has an idea what career he or she is interested in, you can easily streamline all lessons towards the ultimate pursuit of higher education and career training.
Here are some tips for career planning for your homeschooled teens.
Aptitude and Personality Testing – One of the most helpful resources for your homeschooled teens is the participation in an aptitude and personality testing process. There are many free online personality and career assessments that can be taken early on, which can identify what the student is interested in and has an aptitude for. You’ll also want to make sure your homeschooled teen has the resources to learn the topics covered in traditional aptitude testing, such as the SAT and ACT exams, which are taken in their junior year of high school curriculum.
Job Outlook and Career Review – In order to help your homeschooled teen choose the right career path, you’ll want to take the time to review the US Department of Labor’s Job Outlook resources online. This gives your student access to statistical data about specific job types, including projections for the next ten years in terms of earnings, job growth, and educational requirements. Use this information to review the student’s choice of careers and then seek out higher education and job skill certification programs that can support these goals.
Professional Networking – In many communities, there are scores of working professionals who can offer your homeschooled teen guidance on what to study to prepare for specific careers. Consider attending professional networking groups with your teen to learn more about the career that interests him or her. Get to know others who have spent their lives working in specific industries and give your teen the chance to learn more before settling on a career journey. You’ll likely find the mentoring and career guidance your student needs to succeed, and you’ll have a better understanding of the coursework needed to qualify for college entrance and scholarships.
Student Internships – In an effort to groom the next generation of skilled professionals for future expansion, area organizations often offer internships to homeschooled high school students. To learn about these opportunities, get in contact with the larger companies in your area and speak with the human resource department. Your homeschooled student can use the internship as experience to decide on a career path and also in a professional resume, while earning college credit hours that will give him a head start.
College Entrance Requirements – While there are many open admission colleges and universities, your homeschooled student needs to have the best possible chance of being successful in a career. Take the time to visit a few colleges of choice, and then find out about college entrance requirements. Be sure your student has access to the homeschool curriculum that covers the areas of the entrance exam. If there are areas that your student struggles with, consider hiring a tutor to help facilitate learning in order to score well on any tests and to write a college essay that gets results.
Don’t let your homeschooled teen get left behind. When it comes to planning a life-long career, your student can achieve more by taking advantage of the resources available now.
About the Author: Steven Burrell is a business professional who was homeschooled, once upon a time. In addition to homeschooling his own children, you can find Steven reviewing college essays for companies like GradeSaver.