It can be frustrating trying to find simple and relevant information for your teenager. You want to be able to help them figure out what pathway options they have to achieve their TCE (Tasmanian Certificate of Education). Or to help them explore what their options are for life after Year 12.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a Career Advisor to help them navigate career decisions. There are things you can do to help them feel confident when they’re ready to leave school. Here’s what you can do to help them explore their options and make career decisions.
Some things you need to be across
Do you know what a career is?
A lot of people think that a career is a series of jobs or an occupation. But a career is the total sum of skills and education gained from your personal and professional life. This means that the very first career decisions made in life start in Years 9 and 10 when considering:
- School subjects
- Extra-curricular activities
- Volunteering opportunities
- Work experience
- Casual work
Career decisions are made right through to Year 12 and beyond. Read about what a career is.
How to help your teenager on their career decision journey
A person’s career is as unique as them, and choosing a path is not a one size fits all approach. So, rather than sending your child down a particular pathway, it’s better to help guide them. You can do this by providing tools and techniques to empower them to explore their options and make career decisions. There’s a 4 step model that aids this and it’s based on career development theory. Once young people know this, they can use it now and later in life. This is super handy because it’s forecasted that young people will change occupations or jobs 17 times in their lifetime. Learning about this model now will set them up for a lifetime of career decisions. Learn about the career decision making steps.
Who to speak to about options
- Career Advisor – You may have a Career Advisor at your school. They’ll be qualified to guide your child through course and training options. They’ll also be able to provide guidance on the world of work too.
- Teacher – Your child’s Subject Teachers can provide guidance and support on career decisions. Sometimes a Home-group Teacher or Grade Leader may support students throughout enrolment into Year 11, or help them prepare for further education and training.
- Career Education Team – You can get in touch with the Years 9-12 Learning team (that’s us!) at the Department for Education, Children and Young People via email.
Here are some terms you’ll really need to be across if you’re not already aware
The Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)
The TCE is the qualification your child can achieve during Years 11 and 12 when they meet the requirements. Check out the TCE explainer video.
The Tasmanian Certificate of Educational Achievement (TCEA)
The TCEA is a certificate your child can achieve if they’re unable to get the TCE qualification. They may be eligible based on their unique circumstances. You’ll find heaps of useful info on the TCEA by watching the TCEA explainer video.
The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)
This is a ranking system to help your teenager get into uni (although, it’s not the only way!). You can help them research the ATAR required for the uni courses they are interested in. Check out the ATAR explainer video. There may be other entrance requirements for certain uni courses as well.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
This is nothing to do with being a vet! It’s a type of learning that is very much ‘hands on’ with an industry focus. Find out more with the VET explainer video.
Send them to Careerify
Encourage your child to visit this website, it has:
- The Career Toolkit – Articles and activities to help your child through each step of their career decision-making. New items will be added each month
- Resources – A quick access page to activities in a downloadable format i.e. pdf
- Career Stories – where people share their own career to date. It’s great for inspiration and a reality check on how careers vary greatly for each person
- The Calendar – shows upcoming events as well as a few things students should be doing at different times of the year to support their career exploration or decision making
Find out about course options
To find out what Years 11 and 12 courses are on offer across Tasmania visit the Year 11 and 12 Course Guide. Exploring post-year 12 courses should be part of your child’s exploration at this stage. Some courses have pre-requisite subjects that students can plan for in Years 11 and 12.
What are the rules for staying in school?
In Tasmania, all students must stay in education or training until they turn 18 or meet a leaving requirement, such as:
- Completing Year 12
- Turning 18 years of age
- Completing a Certificate III qualification
What are the options for students to work towards achieving their TCE or TCEA?
There are a number of course options available to make up their Approved Learning Program, which will enable them to pursue a TCE or TCEA qualification:
- TASC courses
- VET courses
- Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (ASbAs)
- University Connections Programs and High Achiever Programs (University of Tasmania)
- Recognised Formal Learning
What are the options for students after Year 12?
- Continue with further education or training through a University or VET course at TasTAFE or another VET provider
- Do a traineeship with an employer
- Do an apprenticeship with an employer
- Enter the workforce full time or part-time
- Take a gap year
What occupation options are there?
What work experience options are there?
Students don’t have to be enrolled in a VET course to do work experience. Work experience can give students insight into possible career options. It can also open up opportunities for apprenticeships/traineeships and employment. It’s good to be familiar with your school procedures and on work experience.
Do you know a young person who is not ready for career conversations?
A young person may not be ready to consider their career options. It could be due to other significant things happening in their life such as health conditions, living arrangements, financial pressures, relationships or other barriers. Reach out to these supports within your school:
- School support team
- Grade Leaders and Assistant Principals
- Home Group Teachers
- Subject Teachers
You can also get support by
Things you can say to reassure your teenager
Encourage them to try different things
Encourage your teen to trying different courses, gain work exposure and try extra curricular activities. It will help them figure out what their interests, skills and values are. It will also help them find out which workplace and training environments they prefer.
Reassure them their career will be as unique as them
Let them know that there’s no one size fits all approach to a career and that it’s a journey of trial and error. Just to take one step at a time.
Manage their expectations
Prepare them for change, let them know their career will have many twists and turns, and highs and lows and that’s ok. Suggest always having a back up plan or two!
Empower them with the career decision journey
Help them understand there’s a process when making career related decisions and to trust it. Once they’re across it they will have the confidence to make career decisions now and later in life.
Encourage them to build their support network
Help your teen identify who they can talk to while at school and once they leave. And get them to name up trusted people in their lives who can mentor and support them once they leave school.
Get them connected with their community
Let them know they can connect with relevant services in the community.
All pathways are equal
There are a number of education and training options available to young people. Avoid discouraging any particular pathway. Encourage them to explore the pathway that is the best fit for them. And let them know they can change their mind at any time, and it’s all part of the process.