Students see their future jobs


Auto body class at the career and technical center.

Emily Shupe

With so many new and rising opportunities for employment, it may be hard to choose just one.  As high school approaches, this is a time when thoughts of future jobs arise. Career choice can be a life-changing choice.  It can be stressful just to think about this to young teenagers.

Studies show the top five jobs young people are interested in include teacher, architect or engineer, scientist, doctor, and of course, actor, athlete, or entertainer.  Most of these come to no surprise as some would be considered a “dream job.” The five jobs teens do not want are a production and factory worker, installation and repair technician, janitor, nursing aide, and office support.  These are still in demand, though.

Cecilia Sluss, a freshman who is planning out her future early, said, “I plan on taking vocational classes because I want to go into cosmetology.  I really want to have my own business and be my own boss. I love doing other’s hair, and makeup is my passion. I love it because my job would make people feel better about themselves.  It would be really exciting and thrilling to see the end product every time I have a client. Seeing how happy I would make them would be awesome. Last year when I started wearing makeup was when I really started thinking about cosmetology, but, of course, I do have a backup plan.  Being a social worker would really change peoples lives.”

Kayin Carson, a junior, said, “I really would like to get a scholarship for college football, but if I do not, I want to go to barber school in Charleston.  My mom owns a beauty salon, so I grew up learning about hair. If I get my barber license, I plan on working in Florida and then maybe moving somewhere else to make my own business.”

Generation Z, known as people born from 1995-2010, will have different opportunities than those before their time.  Increases in technology create computer-related jobs in demand. For example, a software developer’s median wage is over $100,000.  This proves that careers have changed over the past several years.

College is something needed for several careers, but it is not a necessity.  With vocational opportunities, and other jobs that don’t require a degree, not all need to continue education.  In 2015 it was calculated that around 70% of students pursue college after graduation.

Diesel class works on different machinery.

Caitlyn McLeod, a junior, said, “I want to go into psychology.  I plan on going to college for 8-12 years and keeping my part-time job at the same time.  I’m working at KFC now and I’m still putting school first. I like to learn why people do the things they choose to do and how the mind works.  It’s intriguing to learn about communication and interaction with others. I think it’d be amazing to help people overcome their mental health problems.”

Studies show that being a professional athlete, or an athletic trainer, is a high school student’s dream job.  Only about two percent of previous graduates have actually played professional sports. A survey of students from 8th to 12th grade showed middle school students were two times more likely to have an interest in athletics and the arts, while the high school students choose careers based on health and business.  

“I want to become an RN to help people.  For me, I’m probably going into college for about 4-6 years.  When I first got interested in being an RN, I was about seven and I had shoulder surgery.  I love seeing people happy and it would mean a lot to know I’m making a difference. I go to the nursing program at vocational and it’s a great opportunity for students who want to pursue and has an interest in being a nurse.  Right now I’m a CNA so I’m getting a head start on some things.”, said Haley Fulp, a junior.

Students around the school have intriguing interests.  There are hundreds of different job choices, so while choosing one can be difficult, it will be natural.  There are plenty of opportunities that some do not know about. Do not be tied down to jobs that everyone else has an interest in.  With hard work and determination, any dream career could be made a reality. It is interesting to see students’ future plans and find out where they want to be in ten years.  Knowing what you want to go into shouldn’t be rushed, as it is one of the most important decisions of your life.