How To Find Career Options for Teens

How To Find Career Options for Teens

What’s the best way to learn about career options when you’re a teen considering ideas for what you want to do? There are a variety of resources available that can help you learn about different careers and identify occupations that align with your interests.

If you’re a student, one of the best places to start is your high school guidance office. The staff can help you with counseling and resources for exploring careers and participating in learning experiences. You may be able to attend career day programs, take college classes while you’re in high school, line up an internship, shadow professionals in occupations of interest, or volunteer with organizations that mesh with your interests.

Many free online resources are available for career exploration, including career aptitude tests, informational videos, and virtual internships that allow you to get a feel for different types of jobs.

Here’s how to find career options for teens.

Explore Career Options 

Online Career Quizzes

One of the best ways for teens to start exploring options for a future career is to take a career quiz. You’ll be able to get some ideas about jobs that match your interests, and you’ll be able to narrow down your options for the next stage of researching careers.

Here are free online career quizzes for teens that are quick and easy to do.

Learn About Careers Online

Teens can learn about careers by watching videos that show what workers do on the job, the training you need, and what the workplace is like. 

Next, research careers to learn as much as possible about them. You may be able to do a short virtual work experience or an internship with a company to find out more about jobs and employers.

Career Videos

CareerOneStop Videos: CareerOneStop has videos on hundreds of different careers. Start watching by selecting a category to view a list of videos related to a career cluster. Each video includes career details such as tasks, work settings, and education needed.

Explore Careers: To use Explore Careers, select an industry from the dropdown menu, then click Search to learn about jobs and employers.

Jobs Made Real: Jobs Made Real features interviews with professionals in fields such as tech, health care, trades, entrepreneurship, and more. You can also get suggestions for jobs to look at by answering a few questions about your personality and goals.

A – Z Career Lab: Use PBS Learning Media’s A – Z Career Lab to explore career options from A to Z with the Lab Squad kids as they meet and interview career professionals in a variety of fields.

Online Career Exploration

Videos can give a good overview of a career, but it’s important to dig deeper and learn as much as you can about jobs, companies, and careers. What seems like a good job when you first think about it might not sound so good when you find out what the job actually entails, the education you need to get hired, or how much it pays. All that information is available online. 

As you learn more about the occupations that interest you, you can start a list of jobs that sound interesting—and those that don’t.

Here are free online resources for exploring careers:

  • CareerOneStop: Learn about occupations that are in high demand, pay good wages, and relate to your skills.
  • Forage: Forage offers 5 – 6 hour virtual learning experiences with top employers.
  • MyFuture: Explore industries, jobs, and careers, including positions that don’t require a degree.
  • My Next Move: Search by keyword, browse careers by industry, or answer a few questions to get suggestions.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook provides in-depth information on hundreds of occupations, including required education, job responsibilities, work environment, salary, and more.

In-Person Career Exploration 

It’s hard to know what a job will really be like without hands-on experience. Opportunities for in-person career exploration are plentiful, and getting started is easy.

If you’re a student, check with your guidance office to learn about programs and events focused on careers. Check with your local American Job Center if you’re not in school. American Job Centers have career counselors who work with job seekers to identify their interests, assess their skills and abilities, and advise them on training and job opportunities.

Another way to learn about what you like (and don’t like) in a job is to get some work experience. Here are some of the best jobs for teens and how to find them.

Here are some of the programs you can participate in to learn about careers:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Career Days
  • College Classes
  • Family and Friends
  • Informational Interviews
  • Internships
  • Job Corps
  • Job Shadowing
  • School to Career Programs
  • Summer Jobs
  • Vocational Training Programs
  • Volunteering


Tip: As you explore careers, remember that most people change jobs many times over their working life, so don’t feel like you’re locked into what you decide on as your first career. You’ll be able to shift as you learn what you like (and don’t like) and gain experience and skills.

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  • April 27, 2023