Parents want the best for their children, but it can be challenging to help them navigate the transition from student to worker. Ensuring your child is career-ready includes many factors beyond just their academic qualifications. They need transferrable skills and the ability to be critical thinkers. Sometimes, that’s not part of the school curriculum. 

How can you help your child transition from high school or college to a career? We’ve got answers every parent will appreciate. 

The Changing Landscape of Career Opportunities

As a parent, you have probably seen that career paths look different today than they did for you post-graduation. 

Although not every job requires education beyond a high school degree, most do—by 2027, 70 percent of jobs will require a post-secondary degree. Acquiring a post-secondary education, whether a bachelor's or associate degree or other trade certification, provides more economic and employment certainty. On average, those with post-secondary credentials have higher lifetime earnings and lower unemployment rates

That’s the kind of security you want your kid to have as they start their career. Understanding non-traditional opportunities is critical to helping them successfully make the transition, especially when it comes to pivoting toward skill development. This journey may not include a traditional four-year college, many of which have seen declining enrollment since 2019

4 Ways to Support the Transition from High School or College to a Career

With all of this in mind, use these four strategies as a starting point to help your child transition from high school or college to a career. 

1. Invest in Career Development Coaching

A proactive approach to career planning is critical for success. Your child may have a specific idea about what they want to do, but many struggle with choosing a job field. Career coaching can assist them with making a choice. 

Through the right career coaching program, they can begin to understand how their innate and learned skills, passions, and goals tie to jobs. Sometimes the connection can be fuzzy for students, but putting the pieces together happens quicker when they are involved in a career coaching program.


2. Instill Confidence, Discipline, Initiative, and Other Soft Skills

In previous generations, there was an assumption that young adults had qualities such as confidence, discipline, initiative, and so on. These days, employers consider these qualities “rare” among those joining the working world. 

It takes years to develop these soft skills. Even if you’ve consistently modeled them as a parent, there’s no guarantee your child has picked them up. After all, many people influence how someone turns out, including friends and teachers. 

How do you know if these qualities are present? There’s no test, but career readiness programs often include intentional development of these soft skills. The best thing you can do is to connect them with career readiness opportunities with specific training programs to fortify soft skill development.

3. Avoid the Guessing Game of Career or Education Paths

As a parent, you may have career expectations of your child, but it’s their path. Putting pressure on them to make premature or quick decisions could cause bumpy moments in their eventual transition. 

Although it’s your responsibility to prepare your kids for the real world, you can’t always know the best avenue for them in terms of education and career. Your child may be guessing, too, and unsure of what their options are. This is where a real-world career prep program can support your kids, giving them a chance to interact with experts who guide them, help them connect with what they love, and understand how that fits into a career path.

4. Emphasize the Importance of Internships

Internships have long served as a stepping stone from college to a career. They allow people to gain real-world experience and get a taste of a specific career field, so they have a better understanding of whether it’s right for them long-term. 

Internships aren’t always easy to find, depending on the industry. Many of the biggest employers in the U.S. have internship programs, so you should encourage your child to research these and apply. Convey how important this could be to their future. In addition, internship matching is often part of career prep programs, which provide useful insights for pairing students with companies for the best fit. 

The Real World of Work Program Is Perfect for a Successful Transition

All the components discussed are part of the Real World of Program from pepelwerk. This 3-6 month program helps young adults find the best career and education path. Investing in this program gives your child an edge in their transition from school to career, helping them explore various job fields, hone their skills, and obtain experience. 

Learn more about the Real World of Work Program today.


New call-to-action