Planning for a post-secondary education and future career can be a daunting task for teenagers. As they step into this new phase in their educational journey, they are faced with critical decisions. Fortunately, there are some key resources available to guide the process and help students make the most of their post-secondary experience.
The first decision a student needs to make before deciding on a program or a school is a big one – what does that dream job look like? This decision can be daunting, but thorough research can help take a lengthy number of options down to a short list. One place to start is with census data.
It allows students to research the current job market with up-to-date information, including growing sectors, job trends and potential opportunities. Students can also find visual data tools that give a sense of the approximate income they can expect to make based on the job type, education level and location with a simple online search for “census, data visualization tool, employment.” By factoring in this data alongside their interests and lifestyle, a student can make an informed and confident decision about their future.
Take a tour
Now that students have an idea about their career prospects, it’s time to choose the perfect program or school. School tours are an excellent resource; most institutions book by appointment and also offer campus tours before applications are due. For those considering schools too far to visit in person, university fairs, job fairs and online tours are also a great solution. It’s worth noting that touring multiple institutions, even those not initially at the top of a student’s list, can help them identify their priorities. The key is to plan these tours or fair visits early in the process, not right at the last minute before applications are due.
Find financial aid
Once the big decisions have been made about what a student wants to study and where, logistics come into play, including financial planning. There are many scholarship and bursary opportunities but tracking them down can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a number of scholarship-finder websites to help with online research. A quick online search for “financial aid for students” will reveal many resources and options. These help students discover scholarships and bursaries they are eligible for and how to apply for them. Remember, not all are awarded based on academic grades alone, so it’s a good idea to explore these options and find the right fit for your student.
With these resources, the teen in your life will be ready to step confidently into the next big adventure of post-secondary education.
For more information on census data and data tools, visit census.gc.ca