Exploring Career Options

It is important that you explore career options so that you can decide on your initial career preference and take steps to implement it during your last years of secondary school.

To make informed decisions about post-school options, you should start early and explore a large number career possibilities, narrowing these down to a more manageable list of realistic options for detailed investigation. Our world of work is constantly changing and employment opportunities in different industries and occupational groups can vary across geographical regions and over time. Therefore, while exploring and narrowing down career options, you need to learn about the labour market and also remain open to emerging occupations and new ways of working.

There are several ways that you can explore career options. Examples include:


Searching Websites With Career Information

Numerous websites contain career information about occupations. Many of these have video clips about occupations as well as printed text. Some examples of useful websites listed in this section.

The myfuture Website

On the myfuture website you can explore information on occupations, related courses industry and labour market information, occupations related to your favourite learning areas, and more. There are many video clips that give a personal perspective. By completing questionnaires in the my career profile section of myfuture, you can explore career options that complement your interests, skills, education and training, knowledge areas and preferred working conditions.

Job Outlook

You can search for occupations on Job Outlook  using alphabetical, keyword, industry or category search options. Tasks associated with approximately 350 occupations as well as the associated skills, knowledge, abilities, interest preferences, values, activities, job prospects and education and training options are provided.

Apprenticeship Support Australia

Link to this site to get information on apprenticeships, school-based apprenticeships, qualifications available in different states and territories, the opportunity to connect with a Career Counsellor about an apprenticeship, support to find out what type of an apprenticeship will suit you, tips on apprenticeship wages, information about mentoring through your apprenticeship and more.

SkillsRoad

From the SkillsRoad website you can research a range of occupations and industries, get tips on how to prepare a job application, create a resume, investigate positions available on the jobs board and take a career quiz (psychometric properties unknown).

Industry Websites

Learn about career pathways for school leavers, those pursing vocational education and training pathways through to university graduates in the fields of Agriculture and Agribusiness.

Building and Construction Careers This website was developed by the Australian Contractors Association provides information about construction career opportunities for students, parents and guardians and apprentices.

Careers in Glass . If you would like to learn about the career options available in the glass and glazing industry, the technologies used in the industry and how to get started in a career in the industry, check out the video clips and job descriptions on the careers in glass website.

Construct my Career . Learn about a range of career possibilities in the construction and property services industry.

Discover Your Career . Learn about career possibilities and education and training in hospitality or tourism.

Girl unearthed  is all about revealing and celebrating amazing young (and young-ish!) women in unique jobs. They may be jobs in industries you weren't aware existed, or careers you simply hadn’t considered before.

Growing Careers is a resource that has information about a broad range of career options and related courses in the forest, wood products and paper industries in Australia. The site contains information about employers in the industry scholarships, internships and uni jobs. Case studies and video clips of workers give a personal perspective.

Auto Skills Australia  has information and brochures you can download on a range of automotive careers.

ICT Careers learn about the ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) industry, jobs in ICT that might suit you, and people who work in different ICT jobs.

Manufacturing Skills Association  has links to career information sheets and career videos on a range of occupations in the Manufacturing Industry.

My health career  contains information for people interested in a health profession. You can find out what it is really like to work in different health fields by watching video clips of a range of health professionals talking about their particular health profession.

Rural Skills Australia . This website has a Career Guide which contains information about career opportunities in Australia in Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Care and Land Management and training pathways typically offered through VET in schools or at TAFE Institutes or Registered Training Organisations.

The Australian Defence Forces . Learn about the jobs, training, lifestyle and recruitment and selection procedures associated with the military. You can search for work and education opportunities within the Army, Airforce and Navy. There are many video clips to help you to understand what's involved in working for the Australian Defence Forces.

Occupation Websites

My Big Tomorrow  is a website with video clips and information about 93 different career options. It shows study pathways from school subjects to further education and training for each occupation you explore. The website shows how literacy and numeracy subjects you study at school are related to each occupation you explore. You are given the opportunity to develop these skills through completing literacy and numeracy tasks that are typical of the occupation you are exploring.

Many professional associations have career information on their websites. A professional association oversees the practice of a professional occupation such as psychologist, lawyer, optometrist, architect, etc. Search professional association websites  for career information. Some examples have been provided below.

Accountant . Learn about the occupation of Chartered Accountant.

Engineer . Learn about the occupation of engineer, including the different fields of specialisation within this occupation.

Enquiring Minds  has video clips, printed information about occupations in a range of areas such as animals and insects, archaeology, books, building, computers, fashion, human rights, photography, police, and space. The site contains pathway information that identifies school study areas related to different careers and related tertiary education courses (mainly in New South Wales or ACT).

Careers Related to School Subjects

Careers Related to Maths .

myfuture bullseyes; careers related to learning areas.

Websites of Organisations

Many organisations have career information on their websites. Check out the websites of organisations that you would enjoy working for to learn more.

Visiting Virtual Career Expos  

Visit the Skills One virtual careers expo  to investigate trade or skilled career options.

Visit the CareerOne virtual career fair .

Check out your school career practitioner for information on other virtual career expos that occur at different times in the year.

Career Videos About Occupations  

Skillsone

Skillsone  has a links to video clips about numerous trade and skilled occupations.

Ace Day Jobs

ABC Television has produced a series of occupation videos  of Australians in a variety of occupations.

Interviewing People Who Work  

Interviewing people who work in an occupation of interest to you is one way to:

  • Learn about an occupation or industry.
  • Get a personal perspective on what it is like to work in a particular occupation or industry.

There are several ways that you can interview people who work:

  • Attend career events and information sessions at school or in the community and talk to people about jobs and industries.
  • Attend university and TAFE open days and talk to people who teach courses leading to occupations of interest.
  • Interview workers while you are on work experience or other work exposure activity.
  • Talk to adults you know about their occupations and industries associated with their jobs.
  • Organise an information interview with an employer or worker.

An information interview is where you arrange to meet an employer or worker (in person or using an electronic means such as skype or email). You must be prepared and have your interview questions planned in advance so as not to waste an employer or worker's valuable time and you must follow up and thank the employer or worker for the time, information and assistance they have provided.

Information interviews are a powerful way find out about an occupation or industry of interest to you as well as a key networking strategy for people looking for employment.

Job Advertisements  

Job advertisements contain information on the duties and tasks involved in occupations as well as the knowledge, skills and personal qualities employers are looking for. Some useful websites to search for job advertisements include:

Seek

Careerone

MyCareer

Australian Job Search

There are many more job vacancy websites. Use a search engine to find more.

Studying Related School Subjects  

It can be difficult to investigate some jobs. For example, many professionals work wih highly confidential information and they are not able to offer work experience or part-time or casual employment to school students due to the nature of their work. In cases like this, studying school subjects related to the occupation can help students to sample aspects of a career field before commencing a course leading to the occupation. For example, there are few opportunities for part-time/casual employment for school students with psychologists and it is often difficult for such psychologists to offer work experience to school students in view of the highly confidential nature of the work. However, studying psychology at school may give some insight into aspects of the work of a psychologist, or at least what you might study at university to train as a psychologist.

Work Experience  

Students can gain work experience in order to research an occupation or industry by engaging in:

  • Community service and volunteering
  • Part-time/casual employment
  • School work experience.

Check with your school Career Practitioner to find out how your work experience can be organised through your school.