Choosing a Career

Don't trade down, so to speak

The hardest part of your post-secondary education search is probably not going to be which school to choose or deciding whether it's better to earn a degree or diploma, it'll be deciding what career you should pursue in the first place.

The choice is so difficult because if you're really serious about becoming a working professional, the field you decide on will follow you for the rest of your working life (or at least until you become trained in another area and switch careers). Since most people don't look at vocational schooling as something to do until they figure out what they really want, it's important to choose the correct path now.

Traditional Trades

Careers in these trades are hands-on and very technical. They may involve a working knowledge of motors and machinery or a number of home and business systems responsible for bringing in or taking out air, electricity, water or waste. Some have design elements, while others involve the operation of complex vehicle technology. Traditional trade jobs are suited to people who don't mind getting dirty and who enjoy solving problems and discovering how things work.

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Drafting and architecture
  • Electrician
  • Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Heating and Refrigeration (HVACR)
  • Plumbing
  • Transportation and trucking
  • Welding and machining

Creative Arts

Art and design students are interested more in aesthetics than function. They design or create beautiful works of art, articles of clothing, photographs, films or entirely redecorated rooms. These jobs are hands-on in a different way because things aren't usually taken apart - they are created from scratch.

  • Arts
  • Graphic design
  • Fashion design
  • Interior design
  • Photography
  • Film and television

Health and Beauty

Aesthetics is a big part of the health and beauty industry as well, but here it's applied to people rather than things. Makeup, hairstyling and physical training all serve to make others look better. At the same time, health and beauty is about feeling good. A big part of these careers is dealing with different people and maintaining a roster of loyal clients. It's the perfect career for outgoing individuals.

  • Massage therapy
  • Cosmetology and barbering
  • Personal training

Hospitality and Tourism

Dealing with people is a part of this industry, but it's all about comfort. Good food, a good night's sleep and great vacations. Opportunities for adventure abound in some of these careers. In others it's an opportunity for recognition that drives professionals towards perfection.

  • Culinary and cooking
  • Hotel and restaurant
  • Travel and tourism

Criminal Justice and Law

Serving and protecting is the name of the criminal justice and law game. All aspects of the justice system are covered, with jobs that involve catching criminals, prosecuting them in court or aiding in their incarceration or rehabilitation.

  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal
  • Court reporter
  • Homeland Security