Step 4: Expand Skills: MyMnCareerPlan
With your career and education goals in mind, it's time to put your plans in place. Expand your skills and ability to make your future plans come to reality. Take action!
Learn from Real People about Careers
Maybe there's a job, like an athletic trainer, that you think would be fun. Research these careers and find out what the job is really like. Look at career videos. Then, talk with people who do this job. Teachers, friends, parents, neighbors, and others in your community can help you find people to interview. Record your research in your MyMnCareerPlan Workbook (405KB, .pdf).
Learning from Experience
What better way to explore a career or education focus than to try it out? There are a lot of ways to check out school subjects and possible career paths. And, colleges and future employers expect that you demonstrate your interest in majors, careers, and education options. There are a variety of ways people will describe these option — experiential learning, work-based learning, and service learning are examples. The type of options may differ, but these experiences will all help you "test drive" options before making a final decision about your future.
- Try after-school programs, clubs, and activities.
- Ask your school counselor about industry-based opportunities and camps (e.g., Upward Bound, Healthcare).
- Check out service learning opportunities in your school.
- Volunteer or support a community group.
- Do stuff on your own or with friends (e.g., blog, video, raise money, start a band, etc.).
- Join a student organization. Check your school for more details. Common organizations include:
- Explore work-based learning options like internships, practicums, apprenticeships, and others.
- Get a job.
Earn College Credit
In Minnesota, there are many options for earning college credits during high school. Options are different at each high school. Check with your counselor to learn which of the options is available at your high school, and how you can take advantage of them.
Some of the options to earn college credit in high school include:
- Advancement Placement (AP)
- Articulated College Credit (ACC)
- International Baccalaureate (IB)
- Postsecondary Education Options (PSEO)
Prepare for College or Education Options
Depending upon what grade you are in, there are several things you should be doing to prepare for. Please be aware that there are strict deadlines and fees involved in applying for colleges.
- Preparation Tips by Grade Level for middle and high schoolers.
- Prepare for placement and entrance exams.
- Figure out how you'll pay for college.
- Prepare to apply to colleges.
- Learn about financial aid and scholarships.
- For more specific information about preparing for college, including a college readiness quiz and a virtual campus tour, KnowHow2Go is a great resource.
- Complete the activities and put the results in your MyMnCareerPlan Workbook, including
- Real Life Career Research
- Test Drive Career and Education Options
- College and Education Options Exercise
- Look at Programs of Study from your school and list the high school courses on your MyMnCareerPlan Matrix.
- Update your goals.
- Next, find a job.