SUMMER CHECKLIST: 4 Things Your Bored Teen Can Do Right Now to Prepare for Their Future

With so many COVID-19 activity cancellations, it may be challenging to keep your teen entertained this summer. This may be an ideal time to help them begin planning for their future. The team at ICR Future has created this check list of 4 things you can do to get started:

#1. Take a Career Assessment
The first step to career planning is understanding your interests. By taking a career assessment, your teen can identify careers that leverage their strengths and interests. Visit our ICR Future homepage to have your teen complete the 60 question assessment. It’ll take less than 5 minutes! Upon completion, review the results together.

#2. Get to Know Our High Demand Careers
While all career interests are important to consider, there may be a few on your teen’s list that are in high demand in our region. When you visit the ICR Future Career Pathways page, you can learn more about each career pathway by watching videos, exploring the training needed, viewing the top regional businesses in each area, and learning about local salaries. You can also discover which careers are experiencing strong employment and growth in our region. The high demand careers can be found bolded in orange.

#3. Explore the Education Needed
Once your teen has narrowed down their list, have them research the training needed for their top career interests on the ICR Future website. They can match that information up with the training programs available at our local coding school, colleges and universities including Coe College, Cornell College, DeltaV Coding School, Kirkwood Community College, and the University of Iowa. State and national options may also be considered.

#4. Find the Right Courses
Once they identify the top 2 or 3 careers of interest, help your teen identify high school courses they can take to further explore those career paths and develop skills that will help them succeed. Some of those courses may include free early college credit, like those offered through the Kirkwood Career Academies. If they are interested in software development or web design, check out the introductory 101 and 102 courses at DeltaV Coding School. Advanced placement (AP) and career and technical education (CTE) courses are also valuable skill-development opportunities offered in most high schools.

Helping your teen identify their career interests and an initial career plan can make their high school years less stressful by establishing a future goal they are eager to pursue. When classes are tough and homework seems insurmountable, they can consider how the work is leading to something they want for their future. And while their plan may change, taking the time to create one can give your teen a head start that could be invaluable as they complete high school and make important decisions for their future.

ICR Future is a coalition of educators, employers, and organizations working together to develop the future workforce in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids (ICR) region. We want to help your teen reach their potential. Stay connected with us by following us on social media @icriowa and joining our newsletter.

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