Over a lifetime, both every individual and the industry will change; it is expected that many people will change occupations during their lives. Careers can make or break a person and the people around them. Youth of today, however, fail to recognize this. Career planning and preparation are often done during the last years of high school life, more often than not, Career preparation is not happening.
During senior year in high school, students are faced with the dilemma on what they want to do right after graduation: pursue college education, learn a trade by enrolling in technical-vocational program, or work immediately. Ideally, counselors should conduct career education activities beginning in elementary school. When students start thinking about their careers in elementary school they are more likely to have better knowledge of their personal interests as well as what career options are available to them (Kayson, 2007).
Helping students make successful transitions from high school to their next step in life is one of the most basic, but important tasks a school counselor faces (Lapan, 2007). Skorikov & Vondracek, (2007) contends that career planning should be viewed as a long term, ongoing career oriented process and one time, occupational choice approaches should be avoided. Whatever career decision the high school seniors eventually make, it is important to determine the career decision making process they undergo.
It is also important to know which factors they consider or disregard in their career decisions. At stake in making the right career decision is their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Thus, it is very important that they choose the career that best fits each of them. Villar (2009) stated that most parents aspired for their children to become professionals. Whatever their socio-economic status, they wanted their children to pursue a course that would attach a title to their name upon graduation.
Current research and trends have emphasized the importance of career education and comprehensive school counseling programs in schools. To date, few researchers have asked students directly what they know and need to know for post-high school planning. Most of students, especially from the public secondary schools do not have accurate information about occupational opportunities to help them make appropriate career choice ( Atienza et. al, 2010).
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