What is career exploration?

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What is career exploration?

Once you’ve decided on the types of courses you are interested in, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what you’ll be letting yourself in for. A lot of the vocational courses (things like Law, Medicine, and Nursing etc.) will be looking for you to have specific experience and knowledge of the career you’re likely to enter after you finish your course. Universities and colleges are keen to see this kind of career exploration in your personal statement and it’s a good idea to start doing it now so you’re well prepared for your application in S6.

Why do it?

  • It's required for a course
  • Try before you buy - have a go at a career you may have in the future to see if you actually enjoy it
  • You can develop skills and knowledge
  • Could help you get a job or further experience later on

Three parts of career exploration:

  • Work experience
  • Research into careers linked to the university/college course
  • Showing personal interest/motivation

Helpful links:

Have a look at the visual below which has extra information about these three different parts (either hover your mouse over each part or tap on the circles):


The visual below has some useful links to help you find out more about courses with specific requirements for career exploration or work experience:


Key things to remember:

1. All career exploration is helpful even if you don't end up taking that route. You're still gaining important skills and knowledge along the way which you can use in your application.

2. Some courses require a certain amount of career exploration or work experience. Make sure you check and know what you need to achieve by the time you apply.

3. It's not all about hands-on experience; doing online research and meeting with people involved with that career can give you some really good insight.