Teenage girl looking at laptop

How to decide on your future career

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We’re all asked this question from a very young age. And as you progress through high school, how to decide your future career becomes a key focus.

At times it can seem like the pressure is on from family, friends and teachers who – out of the goodness of their hearts – want to help guide us in the right direction. The people that love and care about us are intrigued to know who we will become in this world and what our plans are for life after high school.

Workers will spend on average 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime

There are many uncertainties in our lives but one sure thing is that the next few years of school will be busy. Study, fun times with friends and planning the next chapter of your life will take you on an exciting ride, and your options after school are endless.

Choosing your future career is not an easy decision. After all, people will spend an average of 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. So it’s important that you head down a career path that’s right for you.

Getting there

The road to your future career can be as unique as you are. You have so many options, and now is the perfect time to look into ways to reach your career goals and find what works best for you.

There’s more than one way to get into university, and right now it’s all about your subject choices. The subjects you choose for Years 11 and 12 will help open up opportunities for university courses you can study after high school.

How you reach your dream career is up to you.

What are my options on how to decide your future career? shrugging girl

Not sure what your path will look like after high school? Relax – you have options!

  • To university and beyond. From high school graduate to uni student. Keep the study ball rolling and head directly on to uni study. You’ll be on your way to your dream career in just a few years. Our early offer program could even help you secure an offer for your Charles Sturt course before you sit your final exams!
  • Gap year. Take a break! Perhaps you want to work, travel or spend some time planning your future. A lot can happen in a year. Make the most of your time off and prepare to hit the ground running when you’ve achieved your goals – whether you have your sights set on dominating the globe or you just want to relax and save up some cash to kickstart your career.
  • Admission pathways. If you’re not quite ready to jump into uni study when you leave high school, you could choose to start at TAFE or a community college to ease you into tertiary study. Charles Sturt has partnerships with TAFEs across Australia, offering programs that combine TAFE and university study to give you a nationally recognised qualification. And our enabling courses are a great option if you haven’t met the entry requirements for your preferred course. This one-year course guarantees entry into most degrees. You could even consider single subject study if you’d like to try out uni before starting a full degree.

Love heart face  Top tips for subject selection

Here are our top tips for making your Year 11 and 12 subject selections. And you’ll find more ideas in our Year 10 guide.

  • Play to your strengths! Choose subjects you are strong in or that come naturally to you.
  • Go with what interests you! You’re more likely to enjoy Year 11 and 12 and get the marks you’ll need if you decide to go to uni.
  • Be your authentic self! Don’t base decisions on anyone else’s expectations or pick the same subjects as your friends just because it seems fun.
  • Take some time! Give yourself plenty of time to think about your subjects so you’re not making last minute choices.

It’s never too early to start exploring!  thinking emoji

Start thinking about who you are and the individual qualities you possess that make you, you. Are you caring, helpful, creative, observant or curious? By identifying your best qualities, you can start exploring careers that are well suited to you, your strengths and your passions.

So, what career are you suited to?

Now that you’ve started thinking about how to decide your future career, keep things moving by taking our quick quiz. It will help you discover career areas that match who you are, what you love and where your talents lie.