Strachey: Right career path can be overwhelming for some

It’s time to start applying to post-secondary schools

Dear Working Wise: It’s time to start applying to post-secondary schools and my son still isn’t sure what he wants to study. How can I encourage him to find a path and follow it? Signed, Concerned

Dear Concerned: The huge variety of career options combined with an unfamiliarity with the workplace and the weight of choosing the right career can be overwhelming for some.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help young Albertans decide what careers interest them and how to pursue success in the workplace.

Start your son’s journey off right with these six steps.

Step 1—Self-discovery is the foundation of solid career planning. Getting to know yourself can be tricky, though. The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) web site alis.alberta.ca offers a free self-directed career-planning tool called CAREERinsite, which he may find helpful. Or, he may prefer to use the This Is Your Life workbook, which is available in the publications section of the ALIS web site.

Step 2—Explore careers that fit your list of wants and interests. This may be just the thing to get you excited about post-secondary education.

The OCCinfo section of the ALIS web site houses a wealth of information on career options including detailed profiles of more than 500 occupations, including typical wages, duties, work environments, and educational requirements.

Step 3—Narrow down your choices. Try interviewing people who work in the careers that interest you. Informational interviews can give you a real-world view of the job plus they might open up other exciting opportunities.

Job-shadowing, volunteering, and part-time jobs are fantastic ways for students to pick up valuable work experience and try out careers before they spend years in post-secondary.

You should also factor in what the future demand is likely to be for your target career by checking out Alberta’s Occupational Supply and Demand Outlook at work.alberta.ca/lmi.

Step 4—Choose a program and then a school. The EdInfo section of the ALIS website alis.alberta.ca/edinfo is a searchable database of nearly 2,800 different education programs available in Alberta.

Step 5—Apply. The ApplyAlberta website has made it easier for students to apply to one or more post-secondary institutions, authorize transcript transfers, and avoid having to fill out the same information over and over. Check out the ApplyAlberta web site at applyalberta.ca.

Step 6—Visit alis.alberta.ca/payingforschool to find out about the costs of post-secondary education and how to pay for it.

You can learn more about scholarships, bursaries and student loans, and apply for loans, on the Student Aid Alberta website studentaid.alberta.ca.

Finally, if you would like any more tips to help you work with your son, check out the Career Coaching Your Teens: A Guide for Parents publication on the ALIS website (alis.alberta.ca).

Good luck to you both.

Do you have a work-related question? Send your questions to Working Wise, at charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca. Charles Strachey is a manager with Alberta Human Services. This column is provided for general information.

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

As Olympics wrap up, still no coverage in North Korea

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — While hundreds of millions of the world’s… Continue reading

Supplier to NHL’s Calgary Flames breathes again as B.C. wine ban suspended

VICTORIA — The operators of a small British Columbia winery that landed… Continue reading

Canada’s men’s hockey team beats Czechs to win Olympic bronze

GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada’s men’s hockey team has won the… Continue reading

Duncan apologizes for behaviour after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian ski cross racer Dave Duncan is… Continue reading

In Pyeongchang, maintaining Olympic venues relies on a poor, aging workforce

GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Hockey players from Finland were circling with the… Continue reading

Trudeau’s fashion missteps highlight what not to wear on vacation

TORONTO — The traditional garb that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his… Continue reading

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month