Going Back to School: How to Determine Which Career Path You Should Choose

going back to school

Did you know that there are over 7 million people over the age of 25 who are enrolled in academic courses? If you’re thinking of going back to school, know that it is never too late to start!

You might be wondering which career path you should choose as heading back to school can be a big life change it should be worth your time. There are so many career paths to choose from but you should make sure that you pick something you will enjoy. 

Do you envision yourself in a specific role or job a few years down the line? We’re here to help you pick a career path for you!

Keep reading for our guide on how to determine which career path you should choose when going back to school. 

Think of What You Enjoy Doing

When determining your career path, you should first think about your hobbies and the things that you enjoy doing. Turning your hobby into a career is a lifelong dream for many people.

If going back to school can help you achieve that dream, then go for it!

One way to do this is by writing down all of your hobbies and the things that you enjoy doing outside of work. Do you enjoy cooking, writing, talking with people, playing sports, or gardening?

Writing down all of your hobbies and then linking them to real-life jobs is a good way to get started in figuring out what your career path could be. 

For someone who enjoys talking to people or solving problems, then you may consider the career path of an addiction counselor. This might not have been something that you realized until you wrote down everything that you enjoyed doing. 

Imagine You’re a Kid Again

Do you remember being a young kid and being asked what you want to be when you grow up? Chances are you may not have done the job you said you were gonna do when you were a child. If you do still have that same dream, then go for it! 

On the other hand, if you have the opportunity to go back to school, then the world is your oyster. Imagine being a kid again and think of all the possibilities that you once had. 

Going back to school means that you get the chance to pick any career path that your heart desires. 

As a child, you may have dreamed of being a dentist and you totally have that opportunity to do that now. You can go back to school to become a dental assistant!

When choosing your career path you can truly dream as if you were a child again and follow your heart. 

Try Taking a Test

If you’re not keen on following your heart, then you can try taking a career test. There are numerous online career aptitude tests that can match you with the perfect career that will fit your career needs. 

Taking one of these tests will make you answer tons of questions regarding your skillset and personality to match you with the best career.  

Don’t worry, the greatest career tests that you can find online are free so you won’t have to pay any money for this insight. Of course, taking a test shouldn’t determine your future. 

Use the answers you receive from a career aptitude test lightly. Make sure you research and choose a career path that you feel will be suited for you. 

If anything, taking a career test can help to give you a bit of a start on choosing the right career for you. 

List Your Strengths and Weaknesses

One common job interview question that is normally asked in interview questions is what are your strengths and weaknesses. This is a great question to ask yourself when it comes to figuring out what your career path could be. 

Get out a pen and paper and write down your five strengths and five weaknesses. 

Think about what types of careers would require people who would possess your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if one of your weaknesses is public speaking, then you may want to avoid careers that would require you to speak in front of large crowds. 

On the other hand, you can also work to improve the weaknesses that you’ve listed. If you know that you’re not good at public speaking, then you might want to take a communications class so that you can get better at it. 

Talk With a Career Counselor

Talking with a career counselor can help to give you a guideline for what you want your career path to be. If you feel like you’re being pulled in a few different directions by a bunch of different careers, then they can help to weigh the pros and cons with you. 

A career counselor is someone that you can talk with and they can understand the frustrations of going back to school and even changing careers.

You might even find that talking to a career counselor has opened your eyes to careers you never even knew existed. Having another person assist you in finding the perfect career could be something that you didn’t even know you needed.  

Here at ICC, our Career Services Coordinator will work with you on gaining employment in your career path. We can help with your resume, conduct mock interviews, help you network, and even find job leads. 

Ask If You Can Job Shadow Someone

Once you find a career that you believe you will enjoy then job shadowing someone is the best way to see if you will truly like it. It takes researching a job one step further by actually getting hands-on and doing it for a day. 

One of the easiest ways to job shadow someone is by asking someone you know who is in that career field. Unfortunately, if you don’t know anyone in the career that you’re interested in, then this can be rather difficult. 

The best way to go about landing a job shadow is by researching companies that you’re interested in. You should know what to ask and who to ask. 

There is a chance that you might get shot down the first time that you ask about job shadowing. Companies can be busy or they might not be accepting job shadowing positions.

If that’s the case, then don’t give up. Move on and look for another company to ask about job shadowing! 

The best thing about reaching out and doing a job shadow for a day is that it will look really good when you go to apply for a job later on. During interviews, you can actually mention that you job shadowed someone when deciding on a career. 

Volunteer

On the other hand, if you’re unable to job shadow someone you can always volunteer within that career field. Volunteering is an awesome thing to do especially if your career field needs volunteers!

The medical field is always looking for volunteers to do a number of different jobs and tasks. If you’re looking to get into a certain position, then check to see if they have any volunteer opportunities near you.

Volunteering can expose you to the field and position without committing to an internship or job shadow position. It is also a great way to see what’s going on on the inside in a more easygoing and laid back environment. 

As a volunteer, you can even talk with the people who work in that career. Make sure to spend your time as a volunteer wisely. Obviously, you won’t be able to interview the workers but asking them a few questions about their job and why they like it won’t hurt. 

Take the Leap

Going back to school and picking a new career can be scary! It is definitely not an easy thing to do but you’ll be proud of yourself for taking the leap and going for it. 

Finding the right career path for you might take some time. Don’t be afraid to make phone calls, send emails, or ask businesses if you can follow someone around for the day or get some questions answered. 

Getting as much information as possible will help to make your decision easier and your transition smoother. 

Overall, don’t be afraid to take the leap! Jump right into going back to school and preparing for your new career. If you’ve chosen the right career path, then it is going to be something that you will love doing. 

Going Back to School and Choosing Your Career Path

Going back to school can completely turn your life upside down but for the better. You should take the time to choose a career path that you will enjoy and one you can see yourself doing for a long time. 

Make sure that you take the time to research and look into each career path that you’re interested in before making your final decision. 

Classes are starting soon and if you’re looking to apply you can do so directly online

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