Career expos are a great opportunity to gather a stack of career and study information at one event. They differ from university and college open days in that there can be hundreds of exhibitors. It sounds good but parents and young people often come away more confused than before they started. Get the most out of your career expo experience by following these 8 practical tips.
1. Start with a plan
Will you want to talk to everyone? Probably not. Do some ground work and think through some of your current career ideas in order to target the organisations who can best help you.
The big career expos publish their program well in advance.
- Western Sydney Careers Expo (WSCE) is online at http://www.westernsydneycareerexpo.com.au/
Your ticket gets you in for 4 days so head back in if you need to. BTW, your ticket is cash only on the day. $10 per person or $25 for a family 3 or more including one parent.
If you’re not in Sydney, look out for other expos in your area. They’ll be advertised at school and in local press.
2. Who’s there?
- Universities – 15 different universities are available at the WSCE. Check out unis from across Australia. You can pick up the prospectus that outlines all course and admission info.
- Tertiary providers – Colleges who offer industry and professional training courses. Some also offer degree programs.
- Registered Training Organisations known as RTOs. Lots of RTOs offering skills based training
- People you’ll know – TAFE Colleges, Defence Force Recruiting, Apprenticeships providers
- Industry associations including Master Builders, Pharmacy Guild, National Association of Electrical Contractors (NECA), Surveyors, Maths Association.
- CareCareers highlighting careers in the expanding disability and community sector.
- Study skills providers – you may pick up some valuable study tips and resources.
3. What’s on the program?
- Lots of seminars run during the expo; the program is available as a PDF. Review the program to take advantage of some of the experts available. Seminars include:
- Universities and colleges – courses, TAFE, local and interstate universities, pathways to university,
- Teaching scholarships from Teach.NSW
- Universities Admissions Centre – Year 10 AND Year 12 advice. Highly recommended!
- Subject advice – English, Maths, Biology, Business Studies, PDHPE, Legal Studies, and Ancient History
- Industry advice – Master Builders, Nursing, Pharmacists, Health Management and more
- Job-seeking and resume writing advice
- Study advice and tips
- Gap year planning
Work out need to know and what you want to know and then be purposeful in getting into the right seminars for you.
TIP – go with a friend and head in different directions. Get back together and share ideas and resources.
4. Get specific
Chances are you’ve been working on your career plans for a while, get some specific questions together. Ask the reps about course and entry pathways, scholarships, graduate outcomes, study abroad options or whatever you really want to know. There’s no ‘dumb’ questions, so ask!
5. Open for ideas
Chances are you’ll hear about some really interesting areas of work and study. Go in with your ideas, sit in on some seminars, talk to industry professionals and soak it all up. Gather your info then walk away to think through and share your ideas with people who know you well.
6. Work it out
Take brochures, listen well, bring it all home and evaluate. Use what you find out to develop ideas you haven’t thought of previously, and then do some more research to learn more about where the course may lead you.
Good places to look for information are:
www.joboutlook.gov.au for job descriptions and labour market information.
www.myfuture.edu.au – by subscription in NSW
https://www.newcastle.edu.au/degrees-to-careers – link between university courses to career outcomes
Google and YouTube – lots of info here. Be selective and patient.
7. It takes time
Working out career and life and all the rest takes time. Start where you’re at. Go forward at your pace. Explore your ideas, see where they take you.
You’re looking for your starting point not your destination. Choose well and trust yourself to recognise the things that are right for you.
8. Talk it out
Need a hand to work through your ideas? Meeting with a trained career professional can make all the difference to your next steps. Get in touch via email or phone. Happy to help.
Find out about career counselling for high school students.