Reassess and Review Your Career Plans: A Guide for High School Students

Nathan Wilgeroth / Colleges of Distinction »

Summer will be here before you know it, which means that you’re just about to start the college application process! You might have already put a lot of thought into your future career, but now is an especially great time to reassess and review your goals. If you have a certain path in mind, it’s important that you know what you need from a college to help you. What courses, activities, and experiences do you need to find success? The more you know about your needs, the easier it will be to find a program that will support you.

Remember to keep in mind the steps to prepare for your career, which we explore in this article here [Beginning Your Future Career Plan for High School Students (4-Easy Steps)]: assess, explore, research, and plan. Once you’ve got your initial plan in mind, you can take it a step further with more questions to flesh out the details and make any necessary adjustments.


Now is the time reassess your goals and think about them in the context of any courses, activities, volunteer work, or leadership experiences you had this year. As you thought about your potential major and applied it through extra- and co-curricular activities, what did you learn about yourself and your interests?

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  • What skills came easily to you? What did you enjoy the most?
  • What skills were a challenge for you? In which areas of study or work would you need to improve?
  • How does what you learned about yourself align with the career you’re considering?
  • Have you ruled out any careers or areas of study that you no longer want to pursue?

Be completely honest with yourself during this self-assessment. It’s common for students to identify a different path once they become aware of a profession that is more in line with their strengths. Maybe you grew up imagining that you would work in a certain field but ended up liking the practical application of it much less than the glorified idea of it. As you grow, you’re bound to learn more about what keeps you motivated and inspired. This is why an honest reassessment of your goals is so helpful.

If you did choose to add a different career to your list, begin the steps detailed in the article we mentioned above. It will help you through the assessment, exploration, research, and planning process to ensure you’re well informed of the requirements to achieve the career you’ve chosen.


Let’s review. Before you start signing yourself up for a certain school or program, you’ll want to ask a few questions to get started on the right foot.

  • Are you missing any course requirements, test scores, or portfolio materials that are needed to apply to the colleges and majors you want?
  • What summer job or volunteering experience could help you learn more about a career interest you have?
  • Are any of the colleges on your list more successful than others at getting students hired within their first year of graduation? That is, are your choice schools providing the education and experiences that qualify their students for the jobs they want?

If you need help figuring out what a school offers or what a certain career field may require, you should never hesitate to call or email the admissions offices at your potential choices. And of course, the earlier the better; it’s always best to have your questions answered before the pressure of an impending application deadline starts closing in!

Good luck! And for more help throughout your college application process, visit our advice section.


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