Career Description

My daughter is going to be a senior in high school this year. She and her friends have been taking the college entrance exams and have done their general applications for financial aid. She has changed her mind several times about which field to major in. I have not been too concerned about this because she needs to complete her general electives anyway; however her one friend knows that she wants to go into physical therapy, so she needs to take specific general education courses. My daughter decided that she was going to look up several career descriptions to get an idea of the specific job duties.

Far too many organizations miss golden opportunities to bring onboard best possible talent for the tasks at hand — and those of the future. When it’s time to recruit, hire, and onboard, the most common approaches are routine and rote, prone to misjudgment and error. The process is costly and, in the end, unfruitful.


One evening she asked me to spend some time with her on the computer researching career descriptions. She is interested in social work, probation and counseling. She thought she would type in each title and would get career descriptions of each. We found that there are so many areas for each of these professions that it would be easier to find out specific information if she could narrow down each field a bit. I have several friends that are social workers so I told her that we could arrange for her to talk to them about what they do in their jobs and what other social worker in their agencies do.

The first social worker she spoke with works with families with children. She stated that her major was in social work and then she had a minor in criminal justice with an emphasis in juvenile justice. She told my daughter that there are so many areas of social work that it is a good idea to have a minor that gives you a more specialized area of study such as child services, psychology or geriatric studies. My friend also gave my daughter the name and number of a probation officer to talk to.

My daughter found similar information in talking with the probation officer. Her degree was in criminal justice with an emphasis in child psychology. She had a primary case load of juvenile offenders. She said that her career descriptions were also very broad and that it helped to have a specialty area of minor study. We knew without checking that counseling is a very broad field and that there would be a great opportunity to specialize in any number of areas.

My daughter decided that she was going to go into social work. There is enough overlap in the three career descriptions that if she did the social work educational track she could work in any of the fields of interest. With a bachelor’s degree in social work she could go on for a master’s in psychology to become a therapist. She could also get a job with the bachelor’s degree to help decide which area she would want to specialize in as a therapist. My daughter feels more centered now that she has made a choice. I know that she will still probably change her mind several times during her two years of general study.

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