Classes to Match Your Possible Career

This is a photograph of the SPASH Career Center
to show where students can find information about 
career oriented classes.

This is a photograph of the SPASH Career Center to show where students can find information about career oriented classes.

Aidan Hardina

Teenagers like their learning to have meaning and purpose. A career-oriented class is based on a career like construction, business, law, and personal finance. Students learn about what careers would entail if they were to pursue them. There should be more career-oriented classes available at SPASH, so that students see a reason to engage in the learning process.

What it Could Look Like

Many other school districts are creating vocational schools to provide a learning environment that is applicable to individual student interests. The students are better prepared when they are getting background knowledge for their possible careers. In the article “This High School Finds Success Combining College-ready Classes with Career Training,” Alex Quealy, a senior in the plumbing program stated, “We’re getting a huge advantage. When we leave here we’re like ten steps ahead of everybody else.” The opportunity to get training while learning helps students to be more marketable in their potential careers. Because of the students’ personal interests, they are less likely to drop out. Also, they are more likely to further their education after high school. The school’s success is remarkable. There are 8 out of 10 students at Essex Tech that go onto higher education after graduating. Since students are learning in a potential field, there is a high amount of interest. The article stated, “Last year Essex Tech fielded close to 1,300 applications for fewer than 400 seats, according to the school’s admissions office.

Make the Choice Based on What is Best for your Future Career

Unfortunately, the number of technical schools has declined due to the lack of funding and the increased requirements for graduation. Brookings article, “What We Know About Career and Technical Education in High School” stated, “Between 1990 and 2009, the number of CTE credits earned by U.S. high school students dropped by 14 percent.” This alarming statistic comes from society’s idea that the best option is students need to attend a four year college. However, it may not be something that will help them in a desired career.

Importance of These Courses at SPASH

Just like some vocational schools, SPASH offers valuable career classes. These courses show how students can be more prepared for the workforce if they have prior knowledge. It gets students to be more engaged and motivated in the classroom.  One of SPASH’s personal finance teachers, Mr. Castleberg, thinks that the classes are important for students to transition into the job right after high school. He also stated, “I think kids like these classes more because they took the class in the first place. They have an interest in a career like this which also makes them want to work harder.” Mr. Castleberg believes it would make a more skilled workforce before college and allow more students to figure out what they want to do after high school. They have more options of different careers they can try before deciding for sure. 

When asked if the classes should be a choice or required he replied, “Choice because they aren’t always applicable to every student. If they were required, students that don’t have an interest in the class might not get a good grade.” If teenagers are given a choice, they are more likely to buy in if they are given different options of classes, and they might find one that is a good fit for them.

In addition to a SPASH teacher’s viewpoint, assistant principal Mrs. Altman thinks these courses are important.  “I think they are a really good way for students to try out and learn about different careers before graduating from high school.” It helps them to decide if they want to work right away or get further education. Mrs. Altman feels that SPASH does not need more career-oriented classes because there is already a good variety for students to choose from. She said, “We have all of our career courses in the course section on the school homepage. It describes what you learn in the classes.”

Students Perspective

Students at SPASH have many requirements before graduating from high school. Because of this, there are not as many opportunities for them to register for courses they enjoy that may lead them to their career path. SPASH student Logan Clubb stated, “I think there should definitely be career-oriented classes since it will give us an opportunity to use our interests and strengths to decide on possible careers.” Clubb believes there may be some students that are hesitant of the potential workload in these classes, and therefore do not look into them.

The career-oriented classes can help you, students, in many ways. Perhaps the options need to be explored more by you along with the encouragement from our school teachers and administrators to find a career class that fits your interest best.