Have you ever wondered how someone becomes the radio announcer who covers the play-by-play for your favorite hockey team? Do you love to write, but don’t see yourself becoming a novelist? It’s hard to know where your career path will lead when you’re in high school, and you may not know all the options that are waiting for you, especially if you are still developing your interests. The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) provided by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great resource to discover various careers and learn more about the entry-level education required to enter these fields. In addition, the OOH compiles data on projected job growth. Per the OOH, the average growth rate for all occupations is 5%. Highlighted below are three very different careers that are forecasted to have much faster than average growth rates.
Unlike many medical school students, John DeGuardi didn’t have adolescent dreams of becoming a physician. “I liked science, history, political science,” he says, but was undecided on a major or career. His appreciation of multiple subjects is what led him to apply to liberal arts colleges. But where he ended up, Hamilton College, was not initially on his radar; it was on his parents’. Looking back, John admits it was youthful hubris that initially prevented his interest in Hamilton: “I thought I was too good to go to a school I hadn’t heard of.” At his parents’ insistence, he visited campus and instantly clicked with the “down-to-earth people and atmosphere that was collaborative, not competitive.”
For most people, the path from undergraduate studies to a profession is not a straight line. There are changes of heart, changes of major, and changes of career. As college counselors, we talk to many high school students who are convinced the major they indicate on their college applications will determine their futures, so they must choose wisely or be doomed. But a quick poll of, say, anyone around you, will confirm you know plenty of people who work in a role they did not directly prepare for in college. Yet these same people benefit daily from the knowledge and skills they gained as an undergraduate.