Work Experience and Higher Education: A Student’s First Step towards a Successful Career

Senior year at high school can be described as both intimidating and exciting. Intimidating because of the pressure of having to apply to numerous colleges and universities in the hope of getting accepted by the one that best matches your preferences and exciting because, for the first time ever, you are being given the chance to act like an adult and think about what you want to be in the future.

Most students have a pretty clear idea of what they want to be and maybe you do too. But do you really know the ins and outs of your chosen profession? Many students, in order to get a better idea of the working environment and overall job context, choose to shadow a person working in a particular field for a couple of days. However, student counselors suggest one of the best ways to get a proper assessment of your desired job is through either an internship or part-time employment.

Hands-on experience in a field you are genuinely interested in can greatly help in the development of skills and knowledge required to excel in it. However, once you have decided to pursue a full-fledged career in the field of your interest, it does also help to gain some additional knowledge in the form of further education and training programs. From here on, we take a look at the various kinds of internships and part-time employment opportunities along with various higher education and training courses that you can use to your benefit.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, internships are ‘temporary, supervised assignments designed to give students or recent graduates practical job training.’ They are great opportunities for students to get first-hand experience in the field they wish to make a career in as well as determine the skills needed to get ahead.

Many schools have realized the importance of internships and have, in fact, arranged for internship opportunities to be integrated as part of the school program. Sometimes, students even receive academic credit for completing them in due time.

You can check with your student counselor to see if any companies in your area are offering internship opportunities relevant to your field.

Part-time Employment

One of the major reasons part-time employment and summer jobs appeal so much to high school students is because of the monetary incentives attached. Although that does constitute as a very major benefit, there are other advantages to getting a job as it is the only way students are able to get a clear idea of the type of career they plan on pursuing. In order to maximize the benefits of your summer job, counselors suggest starting with just a few hours and then building it up from there. This will ensure maximum motivation without burnout.

Other Activities

Not all skills can be learned at the workplace. Activities such as community service as well as student development programs can help high school students equip themselves with other abilities that are considered equally important in the corporate world.

There are various student organizations that aim towards training and developing young minds in order to prepare them for the professional environment. Also, by attending camps geared towards the development of a certain skill, such as writing or engineering, as well as by volunteering via community service, students can easily acquire the capabilities needed to succeed in the future.

Through such activities, not only will students be able to benefit but potential employers will also get the chance to see the level of motivation and dedication you exhibit while working. This will, in turn, help you when you are on the threshold of your career.

Higher Education and Training

A number of school counselors agree that training for a career should begin as early as high school. Of course, your education should be your number one priority, as many of the skills learned via courses such as math can prove to be of great help to you in the future.

It helps to keep track of the courses at high school as many of them play an integral role when it comes to making decisions about your career. Many high schools offer courses that help prepare you for future training or further education in your chosen career.

Student counselors can be your perfect guide in this regard as they can help you chart out a plan for the various kinds of courses required.

Some high schools offer proper career programs which can give you the option of attaining a certification of a particular industry and ultimately earn credit for graduation.

If you have your sights set on college, then you can prepare yourself by taking some of the most difficult and heavy-duty courses your high school has to offer. Counselors believe that by doing so, not only will you be able to make your college application credentials look a lot more appealing but it will also increase your ability to handle college level study.

Once you’ve completed high school, you have the option of either enrolling in college for an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree or you could undertake job training or a program in vocational school for effective career preparation. Whatever you decide, it is best to have a plan in hand in order to ensure less uncertainty and greater success.