We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
My experience in the past decade as a high school teacher has drawn my attention to something very important- career guidance. Most students who enter senior high school in Ghana have no idea what they want to do.
It is not surprising that these days ‘career day’ observed in many basic schools doesn’t serve its purpose. Almost all parents dress their children as police, immigration officers, firefighters, soldiers, nurses, doctors, lawyers not even teachers. I was sad when my child came home crying that he was sidelined because he wanted to be a race car driver.
There seems to be a craze for certain jobs making opportunities in those areas choked. There are many job opportunities in Ghana that citizens give little or no attention to. Nevertheless, such jobs are relatively lucrative.
An unfortunate problem is a war between parents and their wards as to what program they should offer. Mostly, children love to pursue their passion but parents want what will help their children.
Reasons parents push their kids to pursue certain academic programs
Many parents believe that doing science is the only way their wards would succeed in life because they’ll end up in profitable jobs. Even in instances where the kids show little or no interest and struggle to keep up, parents go to great lengths to ensure that their children pursue it.
•Little exposure to growing career trends
From infancy, many of us are exposed to limited careers. Even, some university graduates know little about careers in their chosen fields. The careers we know about while growing up are doctor, pilot, nurse, lawyer, police, firefighter, soldier, teacher, caterer, and a few others. This makes it almost impossible for upcoming graduates to make informed decisions about their career choices.
• Poor remuneration
Here in Ghana, most jobs are looked down upon because they seem unlucrative. For example, most teachers would never wish for their children to teach looking at their conditions of service.
• Succession in work
In many cases, parents who have successful businesses want their children to take over later in life. Where the working conditions are promising for employees, they try as much as possible to let their children fill in once they retire.
What are some job opportunities for pursuing Science?
Consider the various branches of science. That’s the key step.
Are you an ardent nature lover? Do you want to study living organisms?
Are you interested in lab work and field experiments? Then pursuing biology is a perfect match. Biologists gather a wide range of information and can end up in academia, research, or professional settings like the health industry.
Deciding on pursuing chemistry involves paying close attention to the structure, composition, and properties of substances to better understand their chemical processes. Studying chemistry provides a better understanding of how stress imposed on substances causes change and in cases of a disadvantage how they can be corrected. The knowledge of chemistry enables one to manipulate substances to achieve an end product that supports various industries from the pharmaceutical industry to the oil and gas sector just to mention a few. Students can end up either in academia, research, pharmaceutical, or engineering fields.
Are you part of the few fascinated by mathematical theories and concepts that require more than passion but brain power or simply thinking of becoming the world’s next Newton?
Well, then there’s physics. Just like biologists and chemists, physicists can end up in academia, research, or professions such as geophysics, astronomy, optometry, metrology, and even software development.
The most popular profession in our country is medicine. Apart from the many branches of medicine ranging from pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, ophthalmology, pathology, dermatology, urology, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, psychiatry, cardiology, neurology, dentistry, genetics, surgeon, and others, there are technical jobs in the health sector.
One can consider any of the following
physiologist, physiotherapist, radiologist, anesthesiologist, sonographer, MRI technologist, respiratory therapist, medical equipment technician, paramedic, medical records specialist, epidemiologist, dietitian, audiologist, speech therapist, chiropractor, cardiovascular technologist, orthodontist, prosthetist, medical laboratory technician, forensic scientist, physician assistant, medical scientist, medical writer, psychologist, etc
Do you want to know more about technology and how it works? Then your career may be here. This is one career field that is growing very fast. Some of the careers include
web administrator, web designer, data scientist, software developer, programmer, computer system analyst, fintech engineer, robotic engineer, blogger, information security analyst, graphic designer, computer scientist, ICT teacher, digital marketer, and others.
Any combination in the science program can lead to one becoming a biomedical engineer, mechanical engineer, civil engineer, petrochemical engineer, electrical engineer, medical equipment engineer, geological engineer, marine engineer, aerospace engineer, chemical engineer, mining engineer, agricultural engineer, material engineer, geological engineer, metallurgical engineer, geological engineer, telecom engineer, marine engineer.
This is a passion-driven field that students can explore. Most jobs here require hands-on training. They include being
horticulturist, a farmer in different fields, agricultural economist, soil scientist, crop scientist, food scientist, agronomist, agric extension officer, farm equipment manager, plant breeder, veterinarian, surveyor, landscape designer, pet trainer, etc.
Apart from the above, there are thousands of jobs out there that students should be allowed to explore.
OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR ALL OTHER PROGRAMS
Students who go into the art program have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of careers. The combinations in the arts program are varied, from reading to calculations. Depending on the interest, one can have very good outcomes.
Do you love reading and writing? Then the literature/history combination should be your preference. Are you open to thinking critically? Try the economics/mathematics alternative. Are you one of those people still finding their interest in academic work? Don’t worry, give the arts program a shot. One of the following areas can be your chance.
Broadcast journalist, public relations officer, librarian/bookkeeper, content writer, editor, novelist, poet, film writer, movie producer, film director, actor, media person, lawyer, entertainer, blogger, curator, event planner/organizer, tour guide, travel agent, investigator, music composer, music director, musician, telemarketer, advertiser, translator, architect, social worker, psychologist, counselor, legal support worker, educator, entrepreneur, meteorologist, architect, realtor, financial economist, land economist, statistician, procurement officer, etc.
Do you like calculating, paying attention to details, planning, and organizing? Then the business program can be your choice. The business program may seem a bit restrictive, however, with technology, it can be expanded. Careers include
financial analyst, statistician, actuary, accountant, auditor, banker, lawyer, economist, marketer, advertiser, entrepreneur, insurance broker, fintech engineer, business administrator, human resource manager, procurement officer, event planner, trader, etc
HOME ECONOMICS AND VISUAL ARTS
Are your sensibilities geared toward aesthetics? Do you like working with your hands? The visual arts or home economics program may be your chance for career success.
You can become a dietitian, baker, chef, matron, nurse, food scientist hotel manager(work in the hospitality industry), event planner/organizer, food blogger, skincare specialist, makeup technician, hairstylist, manicurist, pedicurist, floral designer, fashion designer, interior decorator, event planner, painter, artist, cartoonist, sculptor, illustrator, architect, graphic designer, jeweler, shoe and leather maker, photographer, textile designer, tourist, carver, engraver, etc, etc
The technical program is intended to make students acquire important work skills through constant practice. Some of the combinations can end in engineering. Other options are
architecture, electricals, plumbing, tiling, brick masonry, stonemasonry, marble setting, airconditioning installation, refrigeration mechanic, auto mechanic, welding and fabrication, soldering, carpentry/woodwork, upholstery, surveying, and draughtsmanship.
There is no program in the shs for sports. Students who have a passion for sports can offer any program of their choice depending on the area they would like to venture into. After, they can take specialization courses to end up as an athletic trainer, coaches, referee, umpires, physical trainers, massage therapists, physiotherapists, sports journalists, sports analysts, sports broadcasters, sports promoters, scouts, orthopedists, physiologists, sportsmen, etc
There are some job opportunities that anyone at all can do depending on their interest and training.
crane operation, heavy truck operation, freight management, flight attendant, airline reservation, airline technician, airport management, shipping, clearing and forwarding, undertaking, etc.
For one to enjoy doing any of these, interest or passion in the said area is paramount. Usually, one’s personality contributes so much to the success of his work. Combining these two with skills is the recipe for a successful career.
Tips to help students decide on a program
1. Assess yourself to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Be passionate about the program.
3. Have a preferred career in mind.
4. Identify current career trends if you are still unsure about what to pursue.
5. Consider the monetary gain in pursuing a program; be sure demand in the career pick is not dwindling.
In all, students should settle for career options that will be beneficial in providing solutions to real-life problems rather than making decisions solely on their emotions. Due to the advancement in technology, choosing a career that incorporates technology is a must.