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College Admissions: 8 Ways Teens Can Explore Careers This Summer

Monday, April 14, 2014

 

Summer career programs are a great way to try out a specialty before committing to a college major.

As summer draws near, many families forget that summer is the perfect time for students to explore career options. With a tight job market, parents want to know that a six-figure investment will result in their child being able to launch a career when they graduate.

The trouble is that high schools rarely provide students with an in-depth opportunity to learn about different professions. And without that insight, few students are able to select the right college and major based on a long-term plan. Here are some suggestions to help students explore different fields.

Career testing for teens

Career testing has been around for decades. However, many adult-oriented tests ask a lot of questions based on real world experience that teens just don’t have. This career test from the University of Missouri asks age appropriate questions for teens. Students can then click through to Department of Labor outlooks for different professions and read about the majors and degrees that are recommended for each. Based on their interests and corresponding majors, teens can then identify target colleges.

Summer programs with career focus

Summer programs are also a great way for students to learn about different careers. Many state and private universities have pre-college summer programs which allow kids to try different courses or work with professionals from different fields. Dartmouth has a wonderful program which exposes students to a variety of health professions inside the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. The University of Maryland allows students to explore different engineering disciplines in a hands-on environment. Georgetown introduces students to business in today’s global economy. And Marist College offers a wide variety of summer career programs, including fashion design, law enforcement and movie production. These programs have a fee, but there are scholarships, and the cost is minimal compared to four years in college without a direction. MIT also offers highly selective programs in science and Princeton in journalism - and they are FREE if you make the cut.

Internships and research projects

Internships and research projects are another terrific way for teens to explore different career fields. You can set up your own customized experience to shadow a local veterinarian or architect, or you can opt for a more formal program on a college campus. BU has a science and engineering research program. Stony Brook University offers summer research opportunities in math, science and engineering. And many departments in the federal government also provide summer internships for high school and college students at locations around the country. From EPA to NIH, there are hundreds of opportunities to explore careers and build your resume.

Many internships and courses have deadlines coming up, so don’t delay. Make your summer count!

 

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC, a private college admissions counseling company based in Providence, Rhode Island. www.collegeadvisorsonline.com

 

Related Slideshow: New England Colleges With the Best Undergraduate Teaching

U.S. News & World Report released a survey conducted in 2013 of college administrators on the best schools for undergraduate teaching. Several New England made their lists for best National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities. See which schools made the lists in the slides below: 

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National Universities

9. Brown University

Providence, RI 
 
Students: 6,435
2013-14 Tuition: $45,612
Admissions: 9.6% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

National Universities

5. Yale University 

New Haven, CT
 
Students: 5,405
2013-14 Tuition: $44,000
Admissions: 7.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

National Universities

1. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
 
Students: 4,193
2013-14 Tuition: $46,752
Admissions: 9.8% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Liberal Arts Colleges

18. Mount Holyoke College

 
South Hadley, MA 
 
Students: 2,322
2013-14 Tuition: $41,456
Admissions: 42.1% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Liberal Arts Colleges

9. Amherst College

Amherst, MA
 
Students: 1,817 
2013-14 Tuition: $46,574
Admissions: 13.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Liberal Arts Colleges

5. Williams College

Williamstown, MA
 
Students: 2,052
2013-14 Tuition: $46,600
Admissions: 17.0% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Regional Univ. - North

4. Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT
 
Students: 3,879
2013-14 Tuition: $42,920
Admissions: 71.2% Acceptance Rate
Prev Next

Regional Univ. - North

2. Providence College

Providence, RI
 
Students: 3,810
2013-14 Tuition: $42,206
Admissions: 61.0%
 
 

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