Adequate career exploration can have a profound impact on a students future quality of life and wellness.It is NEVER too early to start exploring careers. Students are encouraged to explore different areas of interest, skills, values, and work continuouslyas they grow into adults.
The area's of career exploration are as follows:
Self-exploration: (computer assessments in these areas can be very helpful and can be found online; you will want to use a recommended one though or a highly recognized one. For instance Careerzone, Naviance, Hollands, etc.)
Interests: what is the student interested in and what do they enjoy? Which of these interests may be best as hobbies, extra-income, career goals.
Skills: what is the student "good" at? How and where can that skill be applied in the work world? Nearly any skill can be usefull in one job or another; organizing, talking, planning, leading, creating, being positive, etc.
Values: what does the student find important in regards to what the job allows them to do and/or characteristics of the job? Is it important that they are helping, creating, working with people, working alone, have a leadership role, make a lot of money, have a lot of freedom and/or flexability, impactful, hold prestige, etc?
Personality: what life-style might be a best fit for the student taking into account their expression of personality, ability, and environment preferences.
Physical exploration:
Exploratory learning: is the process of learning more about the subjects that one thinks they may want to pursue as careers. For instance, if someone thinks they may want to be a writer, they may take a writing course to learn more about what the career path entails. If someone is considering a career in criminal justice, they may take a criminal justice course to learn more about what such a career entails, etc.
Job shadows: spending time following and observing a person in a career of interest.

Internships: spending time following and assisting a person in a career of interest.
Career Counselors: a professional trained to help a person with the aspects of career exploration. At the Elementary, Jr. High, and High School level, a students School Counselor is also their career counselor. Career Counselors are available on a majority of college campuses as well.
College/career fairs: events which bring a variety of colleges and/or people of different professions into one area to educate the attendees of that event about their college/career.
Interviews: questioning and discussing via telephone, a meeting, media communication, etc. characteristics (challenges, positives, negatives, routines, etc.) about the person's job.
Videos: video media can be useful and convenient. One may simply search for videos via the internet, of interviews and/or commentary from people in careers of interest. For example, one may search on youtube "interview with a Zoologist".
ACT career planning
Operated by American College Testing. Explore career options; Access the World of Work map; Career Planning tips; Choosing a Major; and Apprenticeship information.

Operated by the NYS Department of Labor, career zone offers a FREE career interest inventory as well as links to employment outlook information. Students will want to do the ONet Profiler, a more advanced career interest inventory. Click on the ASSESS YOURSELF link.