Find Your Path
Exploring careers before you select an education or training path enables you to find the best option that fits your career interests and goals. It does you no good to attend a four-year school if the career that most interests you only requires a two-year degree, apprenticeship or on the job training. College is expensive, especially if you begin college without a plan or you begin college heading down the wrong path.
Now imagine the right path. Imagine every class and every activity you pursue as a building block for your future, and imagine knowing how those building blocks fit together and which ones are the right fit for you BEFORE you take the class.
The key to a long and happy career is finding one that matches your interests and values. Therefore career planning is simply getting to know yourself. Determining who you are and what is important to you leads to bigger discoveries such as what careers, and colleges are right for you.
Career Planning in Four Easy Steps
- Career Assessment - Determine what career pathways to explore and what careers are right for you
- Discover Your Pathway- Based on your career assessment results, determine the education or training needed for your potential career pathway
- Explore Your Options - Find training programs or colleges that offer the education or training needed - visit and learn about costs
- Create a Budget - Determine your budget for education and training based on your starting salary
Career assessments help you align your interests with potential careers and provide all the planning information for course election, education, training, and salary outlook. Learn more about and take a career assessments.
Your career assessment will identify a career pathway that fits your personality, interests, and values. This pathway will have numerous career options for you to consider. Your assessment results will also provide the required education or training necessary to be successful in the pathway of choice. There are 16 career pathways organized into 6 career clusters.
Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
Learn about career paths in agriculture, natural resources, horticulture, food production, and the environment. Learn more.
Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Learn about career paths in architecture and construction, manufacturing, STEM, transportation, distribution, and logistics. Learn more.
Business, Finance, Marketing, & Management
Learn about career paths in business, finance, marketing, management, and administration. Learn more.
Learn about career paths in nursing, medicine, pharmacy, nutrition, physical therapy, and health science. Learn more.
Learn about career paths in education and training, human services, hospitality and tourism, government and public administration, law, public safety, corrections, and security. Learn more.
Learn about career paths in arts, audio/visual technology, graphic design, communications, and information technology. Learn more.
Education and training beyond high school is an important step toward getting the career you've always wanted. It's also become a necessity for nearly 70% of the jobs in the market today. Education and training means anything after high school - and there are a lot of options to choose from.
- Apprenticeship/Trade Programs/Professional Programs
- Nine Month Certificate/One Year Diploma
- Two Year Degree (Associate's Degree)
- Four Year Degree (Bachelor's Degree)
- Master or Doctorate Degree
- Military or Specialized Training
You should research the starting salary for any career you consider and understand that if you have to borrow to cover the cost of your education or training program, your maximum borrowing limit is your first year's starting salary. This will keep you in the realm of responsibly borrowing. Learn about Iowa starting salaries and then learn about the financial aid process.