As our young students approach middle school and high school, the ubiquitous question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" starts being asked more often, and the answer starts to become more and more important.
As California's State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson has been working on projects to support students statewide on this issue.
This week, Torlakson unveiled the new California Career Center Web portal to help middle school and high school students explore their options and plan their next steps toward productive careers.
“Studies show that helping students connect their schoolwork to their future in the workforce helps keep them on track and headed for success,” Torlakson said. “The California Career Center Web portal gives students, parents and teachers a one-stop shop to help de-mystify the process of moving from the classroom to careers.”
The portal, launched as part of Torlakson’s Career Readiness Campaign, provides the state’s first central, comprehensive website of career and college resources for students.
Students can use the free, interactive website to build a personalized account that allows them to save critical information, or simply use the left-hand navigation bar as a tool to help them through the exploration process.
Under the Middle & High School link, users can learn how to get the most out of their middle and high school experiences. Through the Career Options link, users can match their interests and skills with potential careers. The Education & Training link tells users what education or training is needed for certain careers.
The Getting a Job link offers tips on job searching, internships, resumé writing and job interviews. The Challenges section is designed for students who may have special needs, such as physical or learning disabilities, or are foster youth, undocumented youth, and youth from juvenile court programs. The Money Management link offers information on financial literacy and how to make smart financial decisions.
Finally, videos produced by students and teachers are posted on the Web portal to help students explore career and college options. There are also Educator and Parent/Guardian sections with content unique to those users.
Research shows that high school students who participate in career exploration programs are more likely to take college entrance and Advanced Placement examinations, graduate from high school, and go to college.
The California Career Center Web portal is a collaboration between the California Department of Education, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the California Career Resource Network program established under California Education Code Section 53086.