With so many careers on offer, it’s easy to understand how young people get lost making decisions about the world of work. Careers exist that the world hadn’t even thought of five years ago.
Subject choice options vary from career to career. Where future doctors may need to focus on science and biology subjects, a student interested in tourism might focus on English and maths.
As a teacher, parent or whānau, you can help guide young people towards the right subjects to open up career opportunities.
Supporting positive career choices
You may initiate a career discussion with your young person, or it could start with them saying “I don’t know what to study”, or “I need help choosing my subjects”. The three simple steps below will help you guide a career discussion.
Step 1: Check current status
Ask your young person:
- What are your passions, interests and values?
- What are you good at and what do people think you’re good at?
- What subjects are you taking and what subjects are you on target to pass?
- What career options do you have in mind?
- CareerQuest - take a quiz of interests to find job ideas
- Subject Matcher - get job ideas based on school subjects
Step 2: Explore subject choices
When exploring subject choices with your young person, remember to discuss the following points:
- Achieving well in the right subjects is key to having future career choices.
- Are they getting caught in common traps like taking the wrong subject or taking subjects because their mates have taken them?
- If they don’t know what to study, discuss whether subject choice options should be broader to keep opportunities open.
- Make sure they understand the entry requirements for their chosen tertiary course. These are usually listed on the provider’s website. Have a look at Auckland University’s entrance information as an example
- Tertiary entry requirements may include a certain number of core subjects like English or history, and a certain number of specialist topics like chemistry or physics.
- University Entrance is important for entry to degree courses. Limited entry courses usually take academic results into account.
- Browse our course database to find out more about study options
- Browse our jobs database to find out more about secondary requirements
Step 3: Create a subject choice action plan
An action plan will help a young person outline clear goals to study the right subjects for the right careers.
- Help them come up with a plan for how they can most effectively use their time and effort and on what subjects.
- Make sure they know what credits and levels of achievement they need to get into their chosen course.
- Check with them to make sure they understand what support options their school offers. For example, would an extra half-year or summer study help them academically?
Need more help?
If you’d like more help, web chat, call or email our Advice Line.