When helping students choose careers it is important they know what different careers are like? Role-playing can be a fun way to give kids an opportunity to explore different career options. By giving kids a way to experience what it might be like to do certain careers they can decide what interests them. This can help direct their future education and prepare them for a future career.
Parents choosing future careers for their children
Some parents may want to pre-select a career for their children based on what they think would be a good career. This can determine the child’s entire education including what classes they take, what type of training they receive and even where they go to university. For these kids there isn’t much choice, but their parents will make sure that their education will train them for a specific career.
How can students choose careers with no guidance?
Another extreme situation is one in which kids are not trained for any career, and yet they are expected to get a job after they complete their education. Some students in North America enter university and have no idea what they want to do for their future career. Some students end up switching majors halfway through university and doing something completely different. This not only wastes years, but it also wastes a lot of money for students to get training in a subject area that they will never use.
Introducing different careers to students at Career Day
It seems that there should be a balance between the two situations described above. An ideal situation would be one in which parents and teachers help guide students as they choose a future career goal. Some schools have career days where students are encouraged to bring their parents to school with them so they can describe their careers to the rest of the class. This type of activity allows the students to start thinking about what type of career they would be interested in doing.
Role-playing as a way of helping students choose careers
Another productive exercise is to create an environment that allows kids to role-play different careers. The Houston Children’s Museum has an entire area made for kids to practice different careers. Classroom teachers could set up different stations around the classroom that require kids to practice playing different roles. A grocery store or clothing store could be set up to help kids practice customer service. They could even have a mock interview with a dissatisfied customer. Another role-playing station could be set up for students to practice working together with other team members in order to solve a problem or do a presentation.
Role-playing different careers at home
Some role-playing can be done at home. Kids who are interested in science could do science experiments with home experiment kits. Students who enjoy working with animals could volunteer at a humane society to see if becoming a veterinarian would be a good career choice. Parents can also help their kids set up small businesses like running a restaurant or lemonade stand. By doing this kids can get an idea of how much work goes into running a business and what types of things they need to consider before choosing a career path.
By role-playing, kids will hopefully gain a good idea of what interests them and this is a great way of helping students choose careers that they will enjoy in the future.