Can’t decide what course to take? Here are 5 tips to guide you

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Unless you are one of those lucky ones who have never lost sight of their childhood dreams, deciding on the right program to take after high school can be hard. Whether you’re the type who has too many interests or someone who just can’t imagine their future yet, coming up with a decision needs careful consideration. Here are five tips to make this experience a little less stressful for you:

  1. Take a test (or several tests)

  2. There are free tests online that can help you determine which career is ideal for you. These match your interests and personality to a degree/course or certain jobs. You can try one test to narrow down your choices, or try many to see whether you’ll arrive at the same results. You can try What Career is Right for Me? which takes into account your skills, interests, personality style and values to come up with a list of career types most closely related to your selected attributes. Meanwhile, Career Explorer by Sokanu assesses your personality type and compatibility with careers and degrees through several sets of questions. You’ll get the result for free but if you want a more detailed assessment and other perks, you can sign up for membership ($48/year).

    There are many free career tests online. Just bear in mind that not all are scientifically tested. These depend mainly on your perspective, so results may not be 100% accurate. The best thing that the tests will do for you is narrow down your choices and provide information about possible careers you can consider.

  3. Explore and Research

  4. Learn as much as you can about college or university programs that interest you. Talk to your school’s career counsellor, browse through university/college websites, read through prospectuses and interview graduates. For starters, check out the University of Manitoba’s Career Planning page which provides information on 200 career options. You can also use several self-assessment tools at the University of Winnipeg’s site or talk to an advisor if you’re interested in the skilled trades: Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology.

  5. Try things out

  6. There are many volunteer and internship programs for the youth in Manitoba. You can even earn an internship while you are still in high school. This will give you an actual feel for certain jobs and see whether these are careers you wish to pursue. Earning while you learn is a plus.

    Check Manitoba.ca’s Career Development page for various programs including Young Canada Works, STEP Services, and others. You can also go to the Manitoba Career Prospects site to explore more career opportunities.

  7. Find a mentor

  8. Do you admire someone who is successful in their field? Maybe you can ask them to mentor you. Read Feeling lost in your career? Find a mentor! for tips on how to ask someone to be your mentor. Also ask about mentorship programs in your school or try mentorship programs in Manitoba. For instance, Creative Manitoba provides venues for students to be exposed to careers in art and culture. If you are interested in a career in the music industry, you can try Manitoba Music‘s youth mentorship program.

  9. Take the practical route

  10. If your main concern is to be employed after your graduation, study the Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2017-2023 to help you discover your best prospects. You can also check out this Career Planning Guide to help you map out your options for the future.

 
Article updated August 26, 2020.

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Community Resources

Know the difference: How to decide between college and university in Canada by Charlotte Ottaway, MacLean’s. This is a great article that features a step-by-step process to figure things out.

Go to CanLearn.ca to explore the many ways by which you can pay for your post-secondary education, learn about scholarships, education saving incentives, and other resources.

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