What do you want to be when you grow up?
Many students have been asked that question for as long as they can remember. For all of us, the answer tends to change as we grow older. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, many of us are still trying to figure out the answer even after decades in the workforce.
For students in high school, especially in their senior year, the ability to answer that with at least a general area of interest becomes more pressing. It is important to remember that it is okay not to have a definitive answer. What is important is to make sure that you have prepared yourself to pursue any number of directions by taking a good, solid academic load while in high school. TCP’s graduation requirements generally make such preparation a given.
Career exploration can be done through a variety of means but my favorite tool for starting the process is to take the IDEAS Assessment on the Arizona Career Information system. To begin, go to the state’s website at azics.intocareers.org. Our schools username is ‘tricityphs’ and our password is ‘4azcis02’.
Once on the website, take the IDEAS Assessment by clicking on the link on the left hand side of the page. It consists of answering 128 questions about your likes and dislikes, thus matching you with potential careers by correlating your interests with those who are in the profession. Much of what you might find out will probably come as no surprise; you know yourself better than you think. My biggest hope is that students will see some careers choices that they may never have considered but that peak their curiosity nonetheless.
From there, students can start researching potential occupations in greater detail. The website offers good, accurate information on high school and college preparation, wages, job outlook, and many other areas. Once a student has potential careers of interest, they can then begin the process of researching potential colleges and universities that offer degrees related to that field of interest. (But that is another topic in and of itself.)
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to see me. I’ve got a good handout on how to get started with the AZCIS website. It’s a very powerful tool and it’s full of free, accurate, and advertising-free information.
Below is a detailed instruction sheet for getting on and using the AZCIS website:
The Arizona Career Information System (AZCIS)
How to get started:
1. Go to azcis.intocareers.org to get started and enter our username which is “tricityphs” and our password which is “4azcis02”.
2. On the next screen, click on the “Create My Education Career Plan,” and enter the information for “New Users” link in the upper right hand corner. When you fill out the personal information on this page you put in a username and password specifically for you (NOT “tricityphs” and “4azcis02”).
3. It’s probably a good idea to write down what you used for your username and password because we tend to forget things like that. (See the nice lines at the bottom of the page?) Click on the submit button.
4. You’re now on your own portfolio’s home page. One of the best places to start is by doing the “IDEAS Assessment.” Click on it now.
5. Take the IDEAS profile. Be sure to answer the questions honestly. When you have completed all the questions, be sure to click on the “save” logo in the upper right hand corner. If you don’t, you’ll have to redo all the questions again.
6. When you view your profile by clicking on the checkmarks you will get a list of occupations that fit that area. Now’s the time to do some exploring. Click on some of the occupations and find out about job outlook, wages, training, working conditions, etc.
From here you can start using the site in all kinds of ways. One of the many great things it will do is directly link you to schools or training centers that offer programs that you might be interested in. Play around with it; it’s actually kind of fun!
In addition to the information on jobs and careers, there are terrific tools on college selection, college comparisons, financial aid, the military, and much more. Explore!
If you have questions, please come see me. I’ll help you in any way I can.