Subject Selection Help for Senior Students and Parents

jobFor many senior students, the time has come to select subjects that they will study during their final two years of schooling. This task inevitably compels them to consider possible career choices and to then research the most suitable pathways to these. In the past I have observed many different approaches to these decision-making tasks during the Senior Education and Training Plan interviews that I have conducted with parents and Year 10 students. Some parents are very keen to express their opinions about the subject choices and career goals being contemplated by their teenagers. While other parents tend to take a back seat and leave much of the decision-making up to their offspring. Of course, there are many other patterns of interaction in evidence in between these two extremes.

As with all aspects of parenting, there is no right or wrong way to help young people with their educational and vocational planning. It depends largely on the individuals involved and the most effective way to intervene according to parents’ understanding of what approach works best for their child. However, if you would like to read about some things that generally work well when it comes to helping children progress positively toward future academic and occupational pursuits, go to http://www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au/ (scroll down below the Welcome to the Job Guide message). This excellent government publication will provide you with some key ways in which to help your teenager with career-related decision-making.

In addition to the useful information in this booklet there are some other really helpful resources both on the job guide web site and the www.myfuture.edu.au web site. For instance, you can download diagrams depicting a wide range of senior subjects each presenting a huge array of associated careers. These are colloquially called the bullseye posters as the careers are presented in concentric circles according to the level of education required for each. They can be accessed from http://www.myfuture.edu.au/tools-and-resources/learning-tools-for-secondary-students/bullseye-posters-explore-occupations-by-school-subject. You will find many jobs listed within these pages that can then be researched using either the job guide or myfuture online resources. So this is another way to assist your child in their career decision-making. Simply ask them what their favourite school subjects are and help them to research the jobs they may be best suited to due to their enjoyment of that subject area. It is good to open their eyes to the vast world of work and help them to research the careers that could ultimately be the key to a satisfying future for them.

All too often young people have a very narrow view of careers and this limits their thinking and planning. For instance, do they know what an Entomologist does (if they like Biology) or what a Geophysicist does (if they like Geography) or what a Sound Technician does (if they like Media Studies) or what a Visual Merchandiser does (if they like Art) and so forth? If you’re unsure of the facts about certain careers yourself you can find detailed information about them including employment prospects, post-secondary courses, job tasks, personal requirements and much more using the www.myfuture.edu.au or www.jobguide.thegoodguides.com.au/.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to express my concern with regards to the Federal Budget released on 13 May this year in which it was stated that the Job Guide print and web will be funded up to the upcoming 2015 edition, but not beyond and that myfuture will be funded up to 31 December 2014, but not beyond. Apparently, unless the federal or state/territory governments are able to divert the relatively small amount of funding required to sustain these importance resources, they will disappear. I believe this to be a great pity since students, teachers and parents as well as career counsellors such as myself rely on these resources for up to date and accurate career-related information and comprehensive career education and exploration activities.

© Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux

Read more about Dr Lee-Ann Prideaux here.