The Importance of Career Readiness
Denise Ottenheimer is the CTE Marketing and DECA advisor for Centennial High School, and long-time partner of Junior Achievement. As such, we asked her to speak to the importance of career readiness and the need for more robust career planning in our schools. Her response shed light on how critical career exploration and readiness is for our youth:
“Many students are uncertain and lack knowledge of the opportunities in the workforce; many are not prepared and need career direction. Career readiness and research is extremely important to be taught so students can learn about themselves and can plan for their future. Students should be exposed to various careers and occupations they believe they are interested in and research not only the career/occupation, but learn about their personality fit and how it might match up with an occupation, their educational aptitude and the skills needed for a job – both mental and physical skills – and how their particular learning styles match with their life goals and work values. Students are able to research online, interview people who work in an occupation they are interested in and are encouraged to volunteer, job shadow and intern in a chosen field or industry.
Students should most definitely get involved and network. Our business department offers real life experiences through the Jr Achievement Stock Market Challenge, mock interviews, conferences and competitions through Career & Technical Student Organizations like DECA to help prepare students for success in many business careers.
With the many changes and developments in technology, it is imperative that career planning be taught and students research and plan for their careers. Our school has a career center and our business department along with our counselors give career lessons to help students plan for their desired career as well as what classes to take in high school. This increased knowledge gives students an advantage and clearer path and understanding into the workforce.”
We appreciate Denise’s insight into this critical topic and hope that it inspires the next generation to begin their own career exploration journey.