Mentorship A career-information relationship between a student and a person employed in the career area in which the student is interested. The student learns about the workplace and the career area through participation in nonpaid activities directed by the mentor. Mentoring is usually longer in duration and intensity and more complex than a job-shadowing experience. Job Shadowing A short-term, nonpaid career experience planned so that students learn about the workplace by observing individuals at work in a job that relates to the student’s interests, aptitudes, and abilities. Cooperative Education Earn and learn through cooperative education. Career and technical classroom instruction is combined with paid employment directly related to classroom learning. Student instruction and employment experiences are planned and supervised by the school and the employer so that each contributes to the student’s career objective and employability. Career and Technical Programs Within High Schools These programs provide a jumpstart for careers. They provide employment training in a huge array of occupations by mixing work-based experience and classroom instruction. Students can earn state licensure and certifications for careers as varied as a cosmetologist, certified Internet Web site designer, heat pump installation technician, certified nursing assistant, and Microsoft certified database administrator. On-the-job Training Straight Out of High School Entry-level jobs require training at the place of employment for career advancement or even to stay at the same level. Earning potential, however, will be limited unless the employee is particularly competent or creative. Apprenticeships Earn and learn! This path prepares students for specific careers by combining related instruction with on-the-job supervision by experienced professionals. There are over 300 registered occupations offering apprenticeships in Virginia, from electricians and plumbers to law enforcement agents and chefs. Career and Technical Programs Within Community Colleges Virginia’s 23 community colleges provide three alternatives: advanced technical training for certification in a wide array of fields; tech prep, a four-year continuous program (combines two years of high school and two years after high-school graduation); and preparation for a four-year college. Averaging less than $2,000 per year, community college is a fraction of the cost of state universities. Private Career Schools High-speed, high-dollar courses can prepare students for careers such as network engineering, real estate sales, and culinary arts. These private technical and vocational schools offer intensive, short-term training. Four-year Colleges or Universities A high school diploma, a high grade-pointaverage (GPA) and SAT score are the keys to getting into the more popular institutions. The college program chosen should be related to the student’s career interests. A four-year bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for graduate-level studies. This degree will lay the foundation for a variety of career paths and is usually the basic requirement for entering the professional world. Academics are usually supplemented by social and sporting events, especially at residential schools. In-state tuition is less expensive than out-of-state, and state schools are generally less expensive than private schools. Visit www.vacareerview. org. Graduate School Start saving because graduate school can be expensive. Usually, a higher level of education means a higher level of income. Doctors, lawyers, and professors, plus many Wall Street-types, have master’s or doctoral degrees. Admittance to a program usually involves analysis of undergraduate transcripts, some standardized placement tests plus letters of recommendation and personal statements. If this path isn’t carefully planned, the student may lack some of the criteria for entering graduate school. Military The armed forces employ more than combat personnel. There are thousands of careers available within the army, marines, navy, air force, and coast guard — from meteorologists and dentists to engineers and entertainers. Best of all, the 10,000 courses offered are free. Checklist for Students Planning Further Education and Training After High School I have selected several educational and training options that I may pursue upon graduation from high school. I am making arrangements to visit their facilities. I have written for applications for admission to the technical school, community college, college, training program or apprenticeship of my choice ... or submitted my application via the Internet. I have taken required preliminary or entrance exams and submitted results to my programs of choice. I have arranged to send official high school transcripts to my programs of choice. I have investigated and applied for scholarships, financial aid, work-study programs, and other tuition assistance. Other things to consider regarding further education after high school: Checklist for Students Planning to Enter the Workforce After High School I have enrolled in a co-op, Tech Prep, youth apprenticeship or other program to prepare for entry into my chosen career path. I have joined a high school organization related to my career interest. I have prepared a portfolio, a résumé, and a model cover letter. I have two versions of my résumé — one that can be printed and another that is suitable for online job placement sites. I have made arrangements with my high school career counselor or with a counselor at a local placement agency for help in finding a job. I have special clothing set aside for interviewing.