Modern Careers or traditional for your teenager?

by | Oct 27, 2023 | Teen support

A client recently told me that she only gets shown traditional careers by her career guidance teacher, but she would love to take a look at more modern courses on offer.

She is excited about what can happen these days with modern technology, particularly when it come to biosciences. She knows she doesn’t want to do nursing yet there are related careers out there that she would interested her. So, the question is how is she going to find a path forward that suits her?

5 tips to look for Modern Careers

  1. Be receptive to suggestions from your teenager on careers they are interested in, even if you have no idea what it’s about. Especially in the tech industry! What is cutting edge now will be mainstream in 5 years’ time.
  2. Do a lot of research around the topic they find most interesting. Even if it is very specific and not a full course in its own right. Try to find the course that covers that topic the best. Do bear in mind any difficulties they would have to access the course (subjects required, logistics, etc).
  3. Go onto the website of any of the universities and have a look at courses on offer in the area of interest. Better still, look through ALL courses on offer, eliminating those of no interest to whittle down to a shortlist. Use that shortlist to look for similar courses available at other institutions.
  4. Maybe the best route is to follow a traditional career path that allows your teenager to establish their knowledge and experience before following their true passion. They can build on their expertise via further academic study or training later.
  5. Reach out to your own or extended network to connect your teenager to those who already work in those or similar fields.

Row of people dressed in different work outfits to represent different careers.

Credit: Shutterstock

These are the steps I am taking my client through as a part of her career consideration. She has already spoken to a colleague of her sister to discuss the career. Now we are figuring out how she can get to that point given that she has learning challenges and other considerations.


The key to making a successful decision is research. Encourage your teenager to research all available courses, at all academic levels to figure out which will suit them best. They may find that the best academic course is outside their reach either points wise or logistics. But they can find the next best alternative. Talking to people already in those, or similar careers will give invaluable insight into the reality of the course or job.

And finally!

The key to career success is understanding what your interests are more than how many points it takes to get a course or how much it pays – although good pay in the job you love is a bonus! So, research starts at home, in the self, in the heart. Remember to remove your own biases and let your teen seek out their own path.




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