Life After the Test

As much as HSE students need to prepare for the TASC, they must also think about life “after the test.” What career choice might work for them? What further study night be needed? There are several sites that can help students think about this and Bigfuture is one. This website is geared toward high school students, but is also extremely useful for adult students.

Under the “Careers” heading, students can watch a slide show that presents questions they should ask themselves when exploring and research careers.

Under “Career Profiles,” they will find a list of helpful questions to ask themselves when exploring careers.

And under “Major and Career Search,” students will be able to read about specific occupations by cluster. Each occupations includes:

  • A summary of the occupation
  • A description of credentials needed
  • A short list of activities that a person in that occupation would be doing on a daily basis
  • A list of qualities and skills needed for the job
  • Prerequisite course and knowledge
  • Job outlook and average salary

I would recommend this site highly for use as a tool for students to explore “what’s next” after getting an HSE diploma. Most likely I would introduce students to this site after they had spent some time on Careerzone or Careercruising to begin to learn about career clusters and to try to get a sense of what field they might want to go into. Bigfuture is especially helpful for students to take that next step in thinking through what an occupation might entail and whether it’s a good choice for them. However, it can also be used as a first step for students to do some initial exploration.

What’s especially helpful is the cross referencing between careers and college majors. This helps students think concretely about what is entailed in pursuing a particular career path.

I’ve used this site in the classroom in the following way:

Students look through a list of talents/skills, such as “working with others,” or “skilled with your hands.”

  1. They look through a list of occupations and discuss with a partner which skills they think would be important for each occupation.
  2. Students then go onto the Bigfuture site and research a particular occupation. With a partner, they fill in a graphic organizer on the skills and credentials needed, the everyday responsibilities, expected salary and job outlook.
  3. Each pair of students reports back to the whole class about the occupation they researched.

This website is appropriate for use in class and also for student independent work, although I would recommend getting students started in class before sending them off to work on their own. The resource can be used as it is, and the degree of engagement should be high with the right framing.


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About Kate Brandt

Kate Brandt is a Professional Developer in the adult literacy field in New York City and she loves her job. She loves her job so much that she commutes 2 hours per day, from her suburban home in Shrub Oak, New York, to get to work. She loves working in adult literacy because she gets to work with people who are smart, kind, and dedicated.

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