Career Exploration for High School and College Students
CareerExploration.com is a Searchable List of Career and Enrichment Opportunities for Students -
- Gap Year Programs - After High School and After College
- Pre-College Programs
- Summer Programs for High School Students
- Volunteer Opportunities for Teens
- Internships for High School Students and College Students
Explore your Interests and Passions!
Career Exploration Programs Give you a Head Start - and Avoid False Starts.
They help you -
- Discover your interests
- Give you more confidence
- Save money on tuition by avoiding changes to your college major
- Graduate college sooner
- Build your resume to help you stand out from the crowd
- Get into the most competitive colleges and graduate schools
- Learn about yourself, explore life, explore the world, and have fun!
Enrichment Experiences and Activities
Search thousands of colleges by factors including...
- Affordability - Tuition, Net Cost and Financial Aid
- Majors and Programs Offered
- Admissions Selectivity - Will you get in?
- Enrollment Size
- Graduation Rates and Other Outcomes Measures
Find a Career Enrichment Opportunity
Gap year Programs
- What is a gap year? A gap year is a period of time when students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, study, intern, work, perform research or any combination of these activities. A gap year can also be used to defer college, an overseas experience or taking time out.
- Most frequently, gap year refers to a year that students take off between high school and starting their college experience, to gain experience, mature, save money, or just take a break. However, people can also take a year or two after college graduation, prior to entering graduate or professional school (including medical school). The purpose can vary—maybe you want to try something different before focusing on your chosen career, maybe you’re not quite sure what you want to go to graduate school for and want to take some time in the field to get experience, maybe, again, you just need an academic break. It’s important that you have a define what you want, even if it’s “I want to travel”, so you can make intentional use of the time and tell future admissions offices and employers what you gained.
- There are several motivations and options for a gap year. Sometimes students need to improve your grades or complete a pre-requisite for medical or professional school applications and choose to explore programs to gain this experience. If money is a consideration (and let’s be honest, that’s most of us), working can give you great professional experience and help you save money. Also, if a company thinks you do good work and sees the benefit of you furthering your academic experience, they may pay for your graduate school, especially in STEM fields, so that year of industry experience can really pay off. College bridge programs might be another alternative, if you’re coming out of high school and want to get more academic preparation and structure in your first year(s) at college.
- While the best use of a gap year, whether just leaving high school or after college, is probably gaining work or academic experience, sometimes, the growth, world view and perspective gained from traveling or pursuing a passion can be just as fulfilling and useful. Consider opportunities to travel, volunteer within your community or anywhere in the world, or pursue a personal interest like writing, photography, a craft, or coding.
- How do you know if a gap year (or years) is right for you? First of all, make sure you think through the process given your individual situation. Consider impacts on college acceptances, visas, insurance, course planning, and financial aid or scholarships. Have a plan for funding your time and budget well. Choose an opportunity that you really think is valuable to you and your future.
- Some gap year experiences may require you to have a college degree before applying, but many of them are available to high school students and above. Deadlines vary, so do your research on what types of things you’d like to apply to and when you need to apply by. There are also many “pay to play” type experiences out there which can be a valuable use of your gap year, be sure to research them prior to applying.
Volunteer Opportunities for High School Students
Pre College Programs for High School Students
Summer Programs for High School Students
Career Interest Quiz
Use the Career Interest Quiz as a starting point, or to get un-stuck in your college major search. Our Career Interest Quiz is adapted from one of the most widely researched and respected vocational theories, the Holland Interest framework. Used by most high schools and college career centers in the United States, this model identifies work preferences and sorts them into 6 work personality types, often abbreviated by the first letter of each, or R-I-A-S-E-C, that can be used to suggest college major, and careers preferences. The interest codes can be combined by first, second and third levels of interest to provide even more inspiration and decision-making value.
- Confirm your current interests and discover new ones
- Research careers
- Save tuition money by avoiding false starts