Choosing a pathway is often a difficult task because career development is a long-term process.
Every time you move from ‘study to study’, ‘study to employment’ and ‘employment to employment’ you will need to make choices that will affect your career and lifestyle. Your career can be defined by your life, learning and work experiences that you have developed from early childhood. In this way your career development is a lifelong process.
There are at least three basic stages in successful career planning.
The first is to know where you are starting from. This is called Finding out about Yourself or ‘Self Development’. You need to have a sound understanding of yourself to make intelligent decisions on your future. You can read about this in The Job Guide. You may need to do some self assessment. What are your interests, aptitudes, skills and strengths? All Year 10 students at Hallam Senior College complete the Career Voyage computer program which provides an ‘Interest Guide Report’ generated from answers to a number of questions and then provides a ‘Job Suggestions Report’ which matches jobs to the student’s interests. This program is available to all students in years 10 to 12.
The second stage of successful career planning lies in identifying the destination, preferably not a single occupation at this stage but a general occupational area. This is the ‘Career Exploration’ stage where you evaluate your current school progress and consider future study and work options. Consider, what type of work would suit you? For example, analytic or scientific, creative or artistic, etc. Once again you can read about these work types in The Job Guide. Do some research on potential occupations in the area that suits you.
The third stage of successful career planning is to identify the pathways that can take you from where you are to where you want to go. This is ‘Career Management’ where you have the chance to apply your career management skills to your career goals. Throughout your life you will need to constantly make career and life decisions as you adjust your career plans to suit your needs an different roles. A great deal of relevant information can be found using the internet. In particular students can log onto the myfuture.edu.au website which has been set up to allow individuals to explore career options. Students should also refer to “Where to Now” Guide to VCE, VCAL & Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Completing a Career Action Plan while at school can assist you to examine where you are and what you would be interested in doing as well as how to access this pathway.
Identifying these pathways has many similarities with the geographic problem of getting from place to place in that there are usually many different ways of getting to the one destination. However, some pathways are more direct, some are more pleasant and some are more interesting.
For the purposes of career planning, your own pathway may begin with a Year 10 program which will lead to VCE or VCAL in Years 11 and 12. From there it may proceed through a TAFE or University course, or it may lead through employment and vocational training such as an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Plan well, for these are the major highways that will take you towards your destination.
In choosing your subjects it is important to follow a couple of simple pieces of advice:
Keep Your Options Open and Follow Your Interests
Note: Keeping options open does not mean you should take subjects in which you have no interest or little ability! This will restrict rather than enhance your options. There are three golden rules to keep in mind when choosing subjects. These are:
- Choose subjects you will most likely succeed in (these are usually subjects of INTEREST).
- Choose subjects that you are most likely to enjoy (you will be INTERESTED in these).
- Check the prerequisites for University or TAFE courses of INTEREST to you.
Where a career pathway involves a University or TAFE course you should check whether there are any subject prerequisites before finalising your VCE course. If you discover a need to take subjects in which you have Little or No INTEREST or with which you are likely to struggle, ask yourself if you are prepared and able to put in the work and effort necessary to achieve success in these subjects. If not, think again!
What Is A Prerequisite?
A prerequisite is a VCE unit or sequence of units that you must successfully complete in order to be eligible to apply for a particular course. For example, an Engineering course might stipulate that Mathematics and Physics Units 3 and 4 are prerequisites. This means that if you haven’t successfully completed these units you will not be considered for entry to the course. Many Art and Design type courses do not have prerequisites but require you to have a folio so it is advisable to take a subject that will help you to develop one. In some cases the prerequisite may stipulate not only the subject, but also the lowest acceptable Study Score. For example, a Medical course might stipulate a minimum Study Score of 30 in Chemistry as a prerequisite. In this circumstance, regardless of how well you go in all other subjects, the selection officers will not consider you if your Study Score in Chemistry is less than 30.
Where to Find Information on VCE Prerequisites
Each year the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) publishes a list of prerequisite subjects for that year’s group of Year 10 students. This year they will publish the Tertiary Entry Requirements for 2012. This information is usually published as a supplement to The Age and Herald Sun in July. This is an invaluable resource, not only for choosing a VCE course, but also for checking which courses you can apply for at the end of Year 12. All year 10 students receive a copy. The information is also available from Victer which is available on the VTAC web site – www.vtac.edu.au.
As well as a choice of Senior Certificates – VCE, VCAL – at Hallam Senior College, students also are able to choose from a variety of Programs.
A Program is a group of subjects following a theme that allows students to pursue their interests and possible career pathways. Students choose subjects that complement each other and have a pathway focus. Students are working with other students and teachers with common interests and aptitudes. Activities, speakers, excursions are centred around the various Programs.